Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name:
  • State:
  • Lead Agency:
  • Size (acres):
  • Percent Contained:
  • Estimate of Containment:
  • Personnel:
  • Structures Destroyed:

Auburn, South Auburn Street near Whiting Street in Grass Valley.

September 20, 2016 at 6:14 PM

The fire is now 100% contained. Final size 47 acres.

September 20, 2016 at 7:42 AM

No change overnight, mop-up and backhauling of hoses and other equipment continues.

September 19, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Crews continue to mop up and patrol.

September 19, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Matt Green, the Sector Superintendent III at California State Parks, confirmed the reopening of the trails, with some caveats. “After consulting with CAL FIRE, we are reopening the entirety of the park, but we are asking the public to remain on the trails only.” Details here: Empire Mine State Park trails reopen – with some caveats.

September 19, 2016 at 7:34 AM

Firefighters continue to mop up within the fire lines, there is no potential for growth on the fire. The trails around Empire Mine State Park remain closed due to snags and hazard trees. The historical grounds at the Empire Mine are open to the public.

September 18, 2016 at 7:57 PM

Increase in acreage is due to more accurate mapping. Extensive mop up operations are underway, including hazard tree removal. Please watch for fire equipment and respect the closure on the Empire Mine trails for your own safety. The photos below were taken this afternoon.

[rev_slider alias=”auburn”]

September 18, 2016 at 10:27 AM

Because of continued mop up operations and dangerous conditions with trees affected by the fire, all trails in the Empire State Park are closed by Posted Order CCR 4326 from Osborne Hills to Penn Gate.  There will be no trail access on any trails across from Union Hill for at least 24 hours.

September 18, 2016 at 8:02 AM

Firefighters made excellent progress overnight. Damage assessment is ongoing, but so far no damage to structures has been reported. Today firefighters will continue to reinforce containment lines and mop up any remaining hotspots. Aircraft is available from the Grass Valley Air Base if needed. Empire Mine State Park is being used as a staging area, no public access at this time. Please use caution in the area, fire engines and heavy equipment are  in the area.

September 17, 2016 at 8:37 PM

The fire will be staffed overnight, firefighters will continue to build lines and start mop-up operations on the side closest to the residences. A full day shift is currently planned for the fire. Empire Mine State Park will remain closed, firefighters are staging at the park.

September 17, 2016 at 6:46 PM

The structure threat has been fully mitigated, the forward progress of the fire has been stopped.

September 17, 2016 at 6:21 PM

CAL FIRE update: 30 acres and now 50% contained.

September 17, 2016 at 6:05 PM

This just in: Arson arrest made related to Auburn Fire in Grass Valley

September 17, 2016 at 5:57 PM

Air Tac has been released from the fire, returning to Grass Valley Air Base.

September 17, 2016 at 5:55 PM

Per CHP Grass Valley: Empire Street has been completely reopened to Hey 174.

September 17, 2016 at 5:41 PM

Fire behavior has moderated significantly.

September 17, 2016 at 5:34 PM

Incident Commander is releasing some engines back to their stations and to the Rex Fire. Continued good progress. The reason we do not post a containment percentage is the uncertainty of the acreage. The 40+ acres at this time is an estimate only, the fire will be mapped overnight and all stats will be updated with solid info.

September 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Per CHP Grass Valley: The forward progress of the fire has been substantially halted. Road closures are still in place.

September 17, 2016 at 5:03 PM

Helicopter 510 is being released back to Chester.

September 17, 2016 at 4:59 PM

The fire is burning AWAY from Grass Valley city limits into the timber at Empire Mine State Parks.

September 17, 2016 at 4:48 PM


See the #TreeMortality that allowed the 40 acre #AuburnFire in Grass Valley (Nevada County) to burn so quickly.

September 17, 2016 at 4:34 PM

Some resources are being diverted from the Auburn Fire to fight the Rex Fire.

September 17, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Air Tac 230 is reporting a new fire, fully involved structure with extension to the wildland in the Hwy 20 and Rex Reservoir Road area. Updates on that fire will be posted here:

September 17, 2016 at 4:08 PM

Per Grass Valley Police:

Empire Street from South Auburn to Hwy 174 remains closed

South Auburn from Empire to McKnight is closed.

Grass Valley Police has a potential suspect in custody. The person is being treated for burn injuries.

September 17, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Helicopters are focusing on extinguishing new spot fires.

September 17, 2016 at 3:56 PM

The Auburn Fire at 3 pm. Photo courtesy Barbara Kuvet.
The Auburn Fire at 3 pm. Photo courtesy Barbara Kuvet.

With increasing winds, fire activity is picking up again. The fire is now burning at a moderate to rapid rate of spread in heavy timber. 225 firefighters are assigned to the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

September 17, 2016 at 3:47 PM

There were reports of popping sounds and explosions in the early stages of the fire. According to reports from the scene, those were pine trees exploding. The fire is burning in heavy timber and beetle kill patches. The fire is still very active.

September 17, 2016 at 3:36 PM

Additional evacuation staging area for horses and livestock at Fair Valley Boarding, next to the pond at the Fairgrounds.

September 17, 2016 at 3:33 PM

Empire Mine. Photo courtesy Jason Scallin
Empire Mine. Photo courtesy Jason Scallin

Auburn Air Tac is requesting Tanker 89 back to the fire.

September 17, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Fire behavior is moderating, the rate of spread has slowed significantly.

September 17, 2016 at 3:29 PM

Spot fires are being held in check with retardant. Large tankers T 07 and T 60 are on hold at McClellan AIr Base. Tanker 89 is n a load and hold in Grass Valley. Helicopters 516, 510, 205 are working the fire.

September 17, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Photo courtesy DeArlene Hughes-Wiggins
Photo courtesy DeArlene Hughes-Wiggins

Firefighters and engines were at the staging area next to the horse trailers at the Empire Mine State Park as riders evacuated with the horses.

September 17, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Auburn Air Tac is lifting the no divert on the aircraft, good progress is being made. A no divert means the 4 tankers and 6 helicopters were exclusively assigned to the fire. As a reminder, Empire Mine State Park has been evacuated and is closed to the public.

September 17, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Firefighters are making some progress, additional resources are staffing the Grass Valley and surrounding stations for any new incidents. Numerous agencies are fighting this fire, all Nevada County agencies, CAL FIRE, Tahoe National Forest to name a few.

September 17, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Fire is estimated at 40 acres, progress near the structures is being held in check with retardant lines. One additional hose module requested to the fire.

September 17, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Acreage estimated at 20-30 acres, some progress on the southern end of the fire reported.

September 17, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Photo courtesy Maya
Photo courtesy Maya

Closure of East Empire to South Auburn, State Parks is closing the park to visitors as a precautionary measure.

September 17, 2016 at 2:44 PM

Structure protection is in place for homes threatened by the fire.

September 17, 2016 at 2:40 PM

Please do not call 911 for updates on the fire. They are busy dispatching this and other fires.

September 17, 2016 at 2:38 PM

Evacuations are now mandatory. Please leave when contacted and do not attempt to enter the fire perimeter.

September 17, 2016 at 2:33 PM

Helicopters are on scene, starting to work the spot fires.

September 17, 2016 at 2:32 PM

West Coast Equine Sports Therapy in Penn Valley is available for emergency livestock evacuation transport and housing. Call Alyssa at (530) 277 8622.

September 17, 2016 at 2:24 PM

If you live in the area, be prepared to leave. If you feel unsafe at this time, leave now.

September 17, 2016 at 2:19 PM

Precautionary evacuations for Osborne Hill Road now. Grass Valley Police is conducting the evacuations as a precautionary measure.

September 17, 2016 at 2:16 PM

Dense smoke is hampering aircraft, the fire is most active on the southern flank right now.

September 17, 2016 at 2:15 PM

5 engines, any type, immediate need and a strike team requested to the fire.

September 17, 2016 at 2:08 PM

Photo courtesy Jailyn Tafolla
Photo courtesy Jailyn Tafolla

The fire is being pushed by erratic winds, more spotting is occurring. Additional dozers for fireline construction are being requested by the Incident Commander.

September 17, 2016 at 2:02 PM

South Auburn is now closed to all traffic, no access to Whiting Street either. The fire has reached Empire State Park.

September 17, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Air Tac is requesting two additional helicopters, and helicopter 69 out of Truckee. The fire is now exhibiting long-range spotting.

September 17, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Auburn IC is requesting two additional water tenders and two additional crews. The fire is burning in bug kill tree patches.

September 17, 2016 at 1:57 PM

Auburn Air Tac reports the fire is now approximately 5 acres, some occasional torching and crowning.

September 17, 2016 at 1:55 PM

The fire is making a push and getting into tree crowns, burning at a moderate rate of spread and spotting.

September 17, 2016 at 1:54 PM

CAL FIRE Air Tac is now over the fire, assuming Auburn Air Tac. Air Tac is requesting two additional tankers, for a total of 4 tankers.

September 17, 2016 at 1:47 PM

Photo courtesy Gail Smith
Photo courtesy Gail Smith

Tankers are assigned to the fire, some spotting reported. Please avoid the South Auburn area, numerous engines are making access to the fire.

September 17, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Augmented dispatch now to the fire, additional engines are being ordered to the fire.