Firefighters on Thursday morning had stopped forward progress on the Rices Fire burning in northwest Nevada County, but the evacuations of a few hundred residents remained, Cal Fire officials said. The wildfire, which has burned 904 acres over three days, had not grown overnight, said Mary Eldridge, a spokeswoman for the Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit. Firefighters had 12% of the fire contained and had stopped the flames from spreading into neighboring Yuba County. She said the initial attack on the Rices Fire and the work firefighters had done under “strenuous conditions” and “treacherous terrain, climbing around rocks to dig out fires” had given them the upper hand. TOP VIDEOS × “Now, it’s time to tighten the lines around the fire. They’ve stopped forward progress,” Eldridge said. Seven firefighters have been injured — all had suffered heat illness-related injuries such as dehydration, Eldridge said. Overnight fire activity was minimal, but officials spotted some flames caused by rolling material from higher areas that ignited additional vegetation, according to Cal Fire’s Thursday morning update. Cooler weather and increased humidity overnight aided firefighters. RICES FIRE MAP Red circles on this live-updating map are actively burning areas, as detected by satellite. Orange circles have burned in the past 12 to 24 hours, and yellow circles have burned within the past 48 hours. Yellow areas represent the fire perimeter. Source: National Interagency Fire Center In a Wednesday evening update, Nevada County Sheriff’s Capt. Sam Brown said four zones in the area remained under mandatory evacuation orders, which included an estimated 300 residents temporarily displaced from 250 homes. Five zones in Nevada County and two zones in Yuba County remained under an evacuation warning. Brown said sheriff’s officials had been discussing with Cal Fire officials when it would be safe to allow residents to return to their homes. “We’re trying to gauge the safety of people moving back in and not having to send people back out,” Brown said.
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