So far no residents have been hurt, said fire service spokesman Tom
Piranio, but 2,800 people had been evacuated. Firefighters had only
recently able to enter burned areas to report on the damage, he
Rain and lower temperatures have helped firefighters make some
progress against the blaze which began on Sept. 13, said the
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).
The blaze, named the King Fire by the Department, has scorched more
than 82,000 acres (33,184 hectares) of land in the El Dorado
National Forest and Tahoe National Forest - areas northeast of
Sacramento popular with outdoor enthusiasts.
About 12,000 homes and 9,000 other structures were still under
threat, fire officials said.
By Sunday night, firefighters had contained 17 percent of the blaze,
up from 10 percent earlier in the day, said CalFire.
Investigators last week arrested Wayne Allen Huntsman on charges of
arson, accusing him of starting the fire.
Huntsman, 37, pleaded not guilty on Friday and was being held in
lieu of $10 million bail. The criminal complaint lists previous
convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, theft and receiving
Organizers canceled two Ironman triathlon events scheduled for
Sunday at nearby Lake Tahoe, citing exceedingly poor air quality
caused by the fire.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner and Kevin Murphy)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.