Thunder Valley Casino skyscraper now has Placer County firefighting equipment to match

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County’s new ladder truck will take Placer County firefighters to heights only dreamed of a few short years ago. The ladder truck, which cost nearly $1 million, was parked outside the county administrative center Tuesday so the Board of Supervisors could have a look at equipment that can extend 105 feet into the air. With the county’s tallest building – a 15-story hotel at the United Auburn Indian Community’s five-year-old Thunder Valley Casino – now being built between Lincoln and Roseville, the timing of the purchase of the aerial firefighting apparatus is a good one. The Auburn-based tribe paid for the truck and equipment that includes a nozzle on the ladder to reach upper-floor fires. Jessica Tavares, chairwoman of the Auburn Indian Community, said the tribe was very happy to donate a ladder truck that will not only help protect its own property but also that of its neighbors. Cal Fire staffing at its station near the casino will be expanded because of the presence of the new apparatus, adding four more firefighters who will man the station 24 hours a day. The firefighters are trained on specialized equipment that comes with the new truck. The station was initially funded by the Auburn tribe for a three-person engine company, with two additional firefighters working there during the brush-fire season. The station serves both the casino and nearby Sunset Industrial Area. The casino expansion is moving toward a July opening, with the first two floors of the parking structure ready to open Dec. 18. That will add another 800 parking spaces to the casino out of the 3,200 that will be available when the work is completed .