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Wildfire In Sierra Foothills Grows To 800 Acres

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Smoke from the Robbers Fire in Placer County on July 12, 2012. (CBS)

Smoke from the Robbers Fire in Placer County on July 12, 2012. (CBS)

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FORESTHILL, Placer County (CBS) – High temperatures and dry conditions have contributed to the growth of the Robbers Fire in the Sierra Foothills east of Sacramento on Thursday.

Hundreds of firefighters from across the state are battling the fire, which continued to burn in the American River Canyon near Foresthill.

The fire jumped from 317 acres and 20 percent containment Thursday morning, to 700 acres and only 10 percent containment by 4 p.m. Thursday, according to Cal Fire. By Thursday evening, the fire had grown to 800 acres with 10 percent containment. An air quality warning has also been issued.

Officials said the number of firefighters on scene has nearly tripled to 1,800. The fire started Wednesday and grew quickly because of the conditions.

The fire is in a rugged mountain area off Shirt Tail Canyon and Yankee Jims Roads on the east side of Interstate 80. Firefighters worry it could jump the American River and threaten the town of Colfax.

Air crews dropped fire retardant Wednesday, and some homes were evacuated in the area around Yankee Jims Road near the river, according to Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant. Air drops continued Thursday.

Evacuation warnings were issued for the community of Iowa Hill Wednesday afternoon.

Cal Fire said on Thursday that about 200 people from Iowa Hill were staying at a Red Cross evacuation center in Foresthill.

“That’s our biggest priority right now, getting that fire stopped before it threatens that community,” Berlant told the CBS station in Sacramento.

The fire was primarily being attacked through the air initially as fire engines struggled to access the area due to rugged terrain, Berlant said.

Wind is carrying smoke from the fire into the Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln areas, less than 30 miles northeast of Sacramento.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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