Progress halted on new Nevada County wildfire after brief evacuation orders near Highway 49

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday evening briefly ordered mandatory evacuations for a new wildfire that started along Highway 49 in the northwestern portion of the county, with authorities reporting forward progress on the fire had been stopped in less than an hour.

The wildfire, which was being called the Reader Fire, was burning in the North San Juan area of Nevada County.

Sheriff’s officials shortly after 6:30 p.m. ordered the mandatory evacuations for county evacuation Zone 331, which is the greater Tyler Foote and Purdon Road area, and Zone 330, which includes the Millhouse, Montezuma and central Purdon areas along Highway 49.

The Sheriff’s Office in updates around 7:15 p.m. said forward progress on the fire had been halted and that all evacuation orders were lifted.

Roadways were expected to be impacted in the area as crews continued to work the fire, sheriff’s officials said. Caltrans reported Highway 49 was closed in the immediate area of the fire.

Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit in social media posts reported the blaze involved three separate fires, one of which had been halted as of 6:40 p.m. while the other two continued to burn near the Yuba River. The fire was spreading at a moderate rate near power lines, Cal Fire officials wrote.

No size estimate was immediately available. Cal Fire said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The fire is the second in as many days to force evacuation orders in Nevada County. On Wednesday, sheriff’s officials ordered at least Nevada County 185 residents to evacuate in response to the Highway Fire. As of Thursday afternoon, the Highway Fire had burned nearly 31 acres with 5% containment, according to the Tahoe National Forest.