U.S. Forest Service firefighters have stopped the spread of a fire that burned seven acres in the Packard Canyon area of Buck Meadows and caused a campground to be evacuated on Thursday, said Groveland District Ranger Jim Junette.

The fire is believed to have started in the nearby Lost Claim Campground off Highway 120 sometime after noon, though the cause was still under investigation as of about 3 p.m.

“We do have an investigator headed up there now,” Junette said.

At about 1:45 p.m. Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies responded to assist the Forest Service in evacuating the campground.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Andrea Benson stated in an email that she didn’t know the number of people who had to leave the campground because it had already been evacuated by Forest Service officials before the deputies arrived.

The deputies left the scene about 2:30 p.m. because no further evacuations were needed.

Junette said two air tankers from Columbia Air Attack Base made at least one drop each before they were released from the fire.

Seven fire engines, two helicopters, a hand crew and water tender also responded to the fire and remained at the scene as of 3 p.m. to help with mop-up work, which Junette said could take several hours.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530.




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