Fast-moving wildfire forces evacuations in Nevada County

ALTA, Calif. -- Firefighters are working on contain a fire that broke out in Nevada County Saturday and spread quickly, burning 4,000 acres.

The fire started near Colfax around 2:30 a.m. and is quickly spreading in the Steep Hollow drainage west of Alta. About fifty homes have been evacuated.

It started a 2:30 Saturday afternoon and has since grown to 4,000 acres.

Calfire says it's having a hard time reaching the fire because of the steep terrain. There are also high-tension power lines in the area.

Mandatory evacuations have been placed for Red Dog, Chalk Bluff and You Bet in Nevada County, and the northeast portion of Cascade Shores.

Advisory evacuation being initiated northside of I-80 from Gold Run to Alta in Placer County.

Red Cross has 300 beds ready for evacuees and an evacuation center has been opened at the Nevada Union High School, located at 11671 Ridge Road in Grass Valley.

These evacuation orders will be in effect overnight, according to Nevada County authorities.

The fire is burning rapidly in a north direction in the Steep Hollow Drainage. The fire is spotting ahead of itself 1/2 mile. Access to fire is very challenging, but hundreds of firefighters are actively battling the fire in the air and on the ground.

Investigators are asking the public's help in looking for a vehicle of interest that was in the area when the fire started. The vehicle is a lifted 4x4 white Jeep Wrangler without a top, a black roll bar and no front doors that was in the Gold Run/Dutch Flat area around 2:30pm.

Anyone with information should contact the Placer or Nevada County Sheriff's Department.

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