‘Heart-Stopping’ Clip From Inside UC Davis Firetruck Cab Shows Tamarack Fire Intensity – CBS San Francisco

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ALPINE COUNTY (CBS SF) — A brief video clip taken from inside the cab of a UC Davis Fire Department truck while driving through part of the Tamarack Fire provided a harrowing glimpse of the danger fire crews are facing as they battle the still growing blaze that has crossed into Nevada.

UC Davis Fire Chief Nathan Trauernicht shared the intense, “heart-stopping” clip on Twitter that was taken inside Brush Truck 34 Wednesday night as the fire crew fought to protect a housing development in Nevada.

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The short 15-second clip — which had no audio — showed high winds swirling a heavy cloud of embers across the windshield of the truck as it drove behind a second fire truck visible through thick smoke by its emergency lights. Flames fanned by the wind could be seen burning at multiple spots on the nearby hillside.

“I am so incredibly proud of the bravery of our UC Davis firefighters as they help protect our state!” Trauernicht said in the post.

The Tamarack Fire crossed into Nevada Wednesday morning, prompting new evacuations, according to fire authorities.

The wildfire burning south of Lake Tahoe has consumed more than 50,000 acres (68 square miles) as of Thursday morning, ripping through timber and head-high chaparral.

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More than 1,200 firefighters were battling the fire that was started in Alpine County on July 4th by a lightning strike. It has destroyed at least 10 buildings, forced evacuation orders for over 800 people in multiple communities and closed parts of U.S. 395 in Nevada and California near the state line.

It was along the 385 corridor that were firefighters were facing some of their most challenging conditions. The terrain along the Carson River is steep, rugged and isolated. Fire officials were considering an airdrop of firefighters in the area.

“Yesterday this was some pretty extreme fire behavior,” said Pat Seekins, the Rocky Mountains team operations section chief pointing to the region near 395 on a map. “Fuels, the wind and drought conditions — these are super dry fuels — really pushed the fire. It wanted to really burn east.”

Highways 88 and 89 remain closed on the California side of the fire to all traffic except incident personnel.

Fire authorities were anticipating very active to extreme fire behavior over the next 24 hours with high rates of spread from torching and spotting as the fire grows towards the north and east.

“We know we have a challenging day today,” Seekins said. “The area near Holbrook Heights…There is heavy fuel loading. Very explosive fuels.”

A request for voluntary evacuations was also issued for portions of Douglas County, Nevada. An evacuation center was set up at a community center in Gardnerville, Nevada.

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The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday was providing escorts for the public through the US Highway 395 road closure from China Springs Road to the Nevada/California Stateline on Highway 395.

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