EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. —
Cal Fire's Amador-El Dorado Unit has crews battling a vegetation fire in El Dorado County that initially caused evacuations and got within 100 feet of nearby structures.
Both air and ground crews responded on Sunday to the "Rontree Fire," which fire officials said started near Rontree Lane and Fairplay Road in the Somerset area.
Cal Fire AEU said forward progress has been stopped on the 13-acre fire. Cal Fire's latest update, made around 6 p.m. Sunday, said the fire is 50% contained. Air resources have been released.
About 10 homes on Leap Frog Lane were evacuated but Cal Fire AEU said that evacuation orders were lifted around 4:45 p.m.
Cal Fire captain Walker Exstrom said Cal Fire crews, a youth inmate crew and local fire departments all came together to battle the flames.
"It was a high dispatch, so resources from all over the area came. When we arrived, it was on both sides of Fairplay Road, and we went into action and started to do perimeter control on the fire," Exstrom said. "It's important to have aggressive fire attacks right off the get go, so they don't get bigger and they're dealing with this for a longer period of time."
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The fire burned through some vineyards on the east side of Fairplay Road, but the extent of the damage to those grape fields is still unknown.
"They're still assessing the vineyards. It looks like it didn't burn too intense through the vineyards, so they did good work in there," Exstrom said. "There was, I think, one or two PG&E power poles that were damaged, but they're out here actively working to fix those as well."
Exstrom said fire crews were able to start containment on the fire relatively quickly, and he added that being fire ready is extremely important for firefighters.
"We're getting to that point where we are in fire season and things are drying out and heating up, so we'll be working with this until the late fall," Exstrom said.
KCRA 3's Orko Manna spoke to Joaquin Jimenez, a homeowner who said he and his wife were among those who had to be evacuated due to the fire. He said he could see the smoke from his home, which is located on Leap Frog Lane.
"We heard the helicopters and my wife got worried... it's a little scary," Jimenez said. "We've been here about seven years now, and we followed all the fire safety things. We've got our go-bags ready to go, so we were ready to get out of there in 10 minutes, 10-15 minutes."
Jimenez said his main concern was making sure his loved ones were safe, which is why he makes sure to refresh himself on what to do during fire season.
"I've got to worry about my spouse here. I've got to worry about my three dogs... I want to make sure that they're safe," Jimenez said. "If there's a fire in your area, here's how you prepare, here's how you evacuate, and we followed it to the T."
Cal Fire said they will continue the mopping-up stage and checking for hotspots through the night and into Monday.
This is a developing story. Stay with KCRA 3 for the latest.