The King Fire in El Dorado and Placer Counties continues to burn. As of this writing, 92,960 acres have gone up in smoke. There are 7,621 personnel fighting the blaze, which is 38% contained. So far, a total of 69 structures have been lost.
At this mornings briefing, Wednesday, September 24, the big concern was the wind, which was predicted to blow steadily and gust at over 30 miles an hour. The crews are prepared for this, and are intent on making certain that their fire lines are maintained.
The smoke from the fire has been a concern, so much so that Jody Franklin, the Executive Director of Tourism for the El Dorado County Visitors Authority, was contacted by many of the businesses in the area. Here is what Jody had to say in a press release on Tuesday, September 23:
“Visitors need to know that the Farms & Ranches of the Apple Hill® have blue skies and sunshine the majority of the time. It is such a wonderful time of year and it shouldn’t be missed. This season is so important for all our businesses.”
The winds have been blowing the smoke away from the Apple Hill area. The ranches are open, the artists and crafts people are set up and the goodies that the ranches produce every year are as good as ever.
Said Franklin: “Accurate information about the fire, and what remains open, is critical for travelers. Favorite family destinations like Gold Bug Park and Mine, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and Apple Hill® are open and ready for business. Restaurants and shops throughout the quaint historic Gold Rush town of Placerville are also open and look forward to serving visitors. Highway 50 is open both directions for visitors traveling from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe. Historic Highway 49, running north and south through the Motherlode remains open to travelers exploring the Gold Country. Businesses from El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Fair Play, Cool, Coloma and Georgetown, are open and many events are moving forward as planned. Travelers can find information on events, lodging and travel plans to El Dorado County at www.VisitElDorado.com or call 800-457-6279.”
The crowds in the Apple Hill area have been moderate due to the blaze. Visitors can expect to find plenty of room, at least for now, throughout the area. As the word gets out that the area is covered by blue sky more than smoke, that will change.
As autumn deepens, the cooler air in the foothills makes it even more wonderful to visit this extraordinary area. The delicious aromas of apple pies, strudels, apple sauce, apple cider, apple turnovers, and a wide variety of delicious apples will continue to grace the air. Pumpkins and pumpkin goodies are another mouth watering addition to this epicurean extravaganza.
Throw in some amazing arts and crafts, blue skies, and an orchard full of fun, and the day up there is well worth the drive.