7 injured fighting Nevada County Rices Fire; containment expected Sunday

NEVADA CITY — Improving weather Thursday helped firefighters stop the spread of the Rices Fire in Nevada County, which forced hundreds of people to evacuate from their homes and injured seven firefighters.

The Rices Fire stayed at 904 acres while containment increased to 20%, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Firefighters were helped by cooler weather and an increase in humidity, Cal Fire said.

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Seven firefighters suffered dehydration and other heat-related injuries, authorities said.

The wildfire started Tuesday with a construction fire in Nevada County near the Yuba River. It burned down that building and three nearby outbuildings, fire officials said.

Evacuation orders had been issued for 250 homes in small nearby communities, but some of those orders were withdrawn on Thursday as firefighters made progress.

The fire burned as far as the Yuba River, but did not cross into neighboring Yuba County.

Full containment is expected by Sunday, officials said.