Firefighters hurt battling Lowell Fire in Nevada County

ALTA, Calif. -- Four firefighters have been injured battling a wildfire that's burning just north of Interstate 80 in Nevada and Placer counties. Officials say they've been airlifted out of the area and are being treated.

The Lowell Fire is threatening some 2,000 homes. Previous estimates put the wildfire at more than 4,000 acres. But more mapping has actually downgraded it to 1,500.

One of the evacuees says the community has been preparing for an emergency like this for years.

"I was concerned last night but after seeing it again today, and all the fire department down there and everything and we've been working on it, clearing the brush away for the last few years, just getting ready for something like this so it has paid off finally," said evacuee Danny McMellon.

The Lowell Fire started around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, just west of Alta. The fire is 5 percent contained.

Officials say there aren't many hydrants in the area so crews have to truck up water from somewhere else to help them battle the fire.

"We have a very large response on this fire. With conditions so dry, you know we're hitting it with everything we have, a very large air attack as well since it is difficult to get across on the ground. We've got a lot of air tankers making retardant drops, air tankers making water drops, doing everything we can to slow down this fire," Cal Fire's Daniel Berlant said.

Investigators are trying to find a white Jeep Wrangler with no top and no front doors that was seen leaving the area when the fire started.

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