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River Fire Update: Containment Increased to 68%; Evacuees Allowed to Re-Enter Fire Zone

COLFAX (CBS SF) -- Containment of the River Fire burning in Nevada and Placer counties increased Monday as evacuated residents were allowed to re-enter the fire zone for the first time, according to fire officials.

As of Cal Fire's Monday morning update, containment was raised to 68 percent overnight. The size of the fire still stands at just over 2,600 acres.

On Monday, firefighters continued work to strengthen containment lines around homes and move further into the interior of the fire to check for any hot spots.

Starting at 1 p.m. Monday afternoon, evacuated residents were allowed to return to the fire zone to check on their homes for the first time. Fire officials had previously confirmed that 88 structures were destroyed and 20 were damaged.

For Nevada County, a re-entry center was opened at Bear River High School located at 11130 Magnolia Road in Grass Valley from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Evacuated residents will have an opportunity to speak with representatives from the Nevada County Sheriff's Office, the county's Office of Emergency Services and other agencies.

The main purpose of the re-entry center is to inform residents of damages to their property and to issue passes that will allow homeowners to return to their properties in areas still closed to the public. Law Enforcement will be patrolling in the closed areas and checking for entry passes.

In Placer County, a re-entry center is opening at Colfax Elementary School at 24825 Ben Taylor Road for evacuated residents to receive re-entry passes to the fire zone as well as respirator masks and information about fire zone safety.

Evacuated residents can also dial 211 and provide their name, residence address and contact information. Within a few hours, a representative from the county will be in contact to follow up.

Returning residents are advised that fire personnel are still working in the fire zone and to reduce speeds where appropriate.

Cal Fire says they expect the fire to be fully contained by Friday.

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