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King Fire leaves danger of mud and debris flows.


WHITE MEADOW, Calif. - Mike Murphy is fearing the worst in the aftermath of the King Fire that nearly burned his home last month.

"I'm worried about the big rocks rolling down the hill and into this property and perhaps into my structures that I have here," Murphy said, as he stood under darkening skies Tuesday afternoon.

He has reason to worry.

"There's a large risk still of mud slides and debris flows when we start getting rain," cautioned El Dorado National Forest District Ranger Richard Thornburgh, as he stood beside his headquarters building just a couple of miles southwest of Mike Murphy's home.

Thornburg said a significant rain event could cause serious damage to the ecology of the 160 square miles of charred national forest land left by the King Fire.

CHP investigates fatal crash in Pollock Pines

CHP investigates fatal crash in Pollock Pines


A person was killed in a head-on crash in Pollock Pines Saturday afternoon.

The two vehicles crashed just after noon on Mormon Emigrant Trail, south of Sly Park Road, the California Highway Patrol said.

The solo driver of one vehicle was killed in the crash, CHP said. In the second vehicle, the driver suffered major injuries and two passengers suffered moderate injuries; they were taken to a hospital to get treatment.

No other information about the victims was available.

Officers continue to investigate the crash. It wasn't immediately known if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.


Caltrans equips fleet with high-tech devices

Caltrans equips fleet with high-tech devices


SACRAMENTO (AP) - California's transportation agency is spending $2.5 million to update its fleet of vehicles with high-tech gear.

The Sacramento Bee reported Saturday that Caltrans is installing GPS tracking devices on its 7,500 sedans, snow plows, trucks and other vehicles. The devices will report where vehicles are traveling, how long they idle and their speed among other things.

The devices will also track which employee is driving.

In July, the California Highway Patrol found a stolen Caltrans vehicle and arrested a thief within an hour of it going missing because of a GPS tracking device.

The devices cost $2.5 million and Caltrans will spend another $1.5 million on a reporting system annually.


Young couple with baby rescued along Rubicon Trail


RUBICON SPRINGS – A California Highway Patrol helicopter rescued a young Fairfield couple, their 4-month-old daughter and their friend from the Rubicon Trail in El Dorado County Tuesday.

It's a story Elizabeth Oldknow will one day tell her daughter.

"I still don't know how to completely process it," Oldknow said.

Oldknow, her husband, their baby and their friend set out on a fun day trip Tuesday along the rocky Rubicon Trail. But then their Jeep got stuck in Rubicon Springs.

"Obviously, it was a mistake to go as far as we did," OIdknow said. "I wish we turned around sooner."

With no way out, they were forced to spend the night in the woods. Fortunately, they found a campground.

"There was port-a-potties, a cabin, a tent set up," Oldknown explained.

King Fire 100% contained


After nearly a month of battling the King Fire, firefighters have a 100 percent containment on the wildfire.

Even though the fire is contained, it is not out, Eldorado National Forest spokesperson Kristi Schroeder said in a news release. Smoke from inside the fire lines will still be visible until a significant rain or snowfall. Crews will continue to mop up the area.

"It is anticipated that any areas of increased fire behavior will be primarily isolated surface fire on exposed southern aspects," the forest's incident website said. "Occasional isolated single tree torching on exposed aspects is anticipated as the low humidity and warm days continue. Heavy dead and down fuels will also continue to hold heat and burn."

Crews ready to start repairing damage caused by the King Fire


EL DORADO NATIONAL FOREST - Crews are just beginning to assess the damage to the El Dorado National Forest caused by the King Fire and the work it will take to begin returning the land to its former ecosystem.

"In this case, the fire was so severe in a lot of areas that it took out the crowns, took out anything that would have produced seeds and so we have to go in and artificially get the ecosystem going again," veteran Forest Service ranger Bob Becker.

The fire began on Forebay Road near Pollock Pines on Saturday, Sept. 13 and it has since covered 97,717 acres. It is expected to be fully contained Wednesday.

King Fire containment expected at 100% Wednesday


Officials expect the King Fire to be fully contained Wednesday, according to an update posted online Tuesday.

Here's the opening to the update from the fire's Incident Command Team:

Today firefighters will continue suppressing the few remaining areas of heat within 200 feet of the fire perimeter which were identified using heat-sensing aerial photography. The extreme, steep terrain has been challenging, but full containment of the fire is expected by October 8.

The fire began on Forebay Road near Pollock Pines on Saturday, Sept. 13 and it has since covered 97,717 acres. Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, of Pollock Pines, has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the blaze.