UPDATE: All evacuation orders, warnings lifted

The Grass Valley Type 2 tanker 88 is ready to respond to incidents such as the Rice Fire Friday at the Nevada County Airport, home of the Grass Valley Interagency Air Attack Base. Some 81,477 gallons of retardant have been dropped on the Rice’s Fire from the base since the blaze began, with Tanker 88 pilot Abbie Crews making the first drop on the fire on Tuesday, just after 2 p.m.
Photo: Elias Funez

UPDATED at 10:57 a.m. on Monday, July 4

From the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office:

As of 7 a.m. Monday, all evacuation orders and warnings for Nevada County due to the Rices Fire were lifted.

Residents returning to the area who see damage to their residence are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or 1-833-DIAL211 to be connected with a disaster recovery specialist.

The fire Monday morning was 904 acres and 65% contained.

UPDATED at 9:54 a.m. on Sunday, July 3

The fire is 904 acres and 45% contained Sunday morning.

UPDATED at 9:28 a.m. on Saturday, July 2

The Rice’s Fire is at 904 acres and 26% contained.

A civilian and 14 firefighters were injured.

Thirteen structures were destroyed, one damaged and 10 are threatened.

Originally published

Containment on the Rice’s Fire soared to 22% Friday as fire crews continued to make good gains on the blaze that charred a 904-acre swath of land between South Yuba River State Park in Bridgeport and North San Juan.

Nevada County Sheriff’s officials expect further downgrading of some existing evacuation zones that are currently under warning.

“We are working with the Fire Incident Command team to solidify plans ahead of distribution,” Sheriff Public Information Officer Andrew Trygg said in a news release. “All areas under the current evacuation order will remain in place.”

There are still dozens of firefighting crews working and traversing the area and the general public is encouraged to stay out if they don’t live there.

Many access roads to the fire are single lane and extra traffic could impede progress.

Injuries to firefighters on the Rice’s Fire rose to 13 on Friday and 250 structures remained at risk.

“In addition, there are still several hotspots and areas of hazardous conditions,” Trygg said.

Road closures on Pleasant Valley Road, between Bridgeport and Birchville Road, will remain in place until further notice, although law enforcement is allowing residents with proper identification to pass through.

According to California State Parks, Bridgeport at South Yuba River State Park will remain closed until further notice.

For the most up-to-date visual aid regarding venting changes, visit community.zonehaven.com.


Current totals of phos-chek orange fire retardant dropped on the Rice’s Fire stand at 317,173 gallons.

While 235,696 gallons were dropped from large tankers from McClellan Base in Sacramento, 81,477 gallons were dropped from Interagency Air Attack Base Grass Valley between three Type 2 tankers.


Fire crews and first responders in the area were busy with a handful of other new starts Friday, including two vehicular fires along Interstate 80 with a threat to vegetation and a small wildfire that began in the landscaping of new Brunswick Commons apartments.

Grass Valley and Cal Fire firefighters work at the scene of a small wildland fire that occurred in a section of the new landscaping of the new Brunswick Commons apartment complex under construction near Old Tunnel Road.
Photo: Elias Funez

Residents have yet to move into the nearly completed structure.

The cause of the fire was not immediately determined.

To contact multimedia journalist Elias Funez, email [email protected] or call 530-477-4230


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