2 p.m.:Homeowners in limbo over what survived and what didn’t
STATELINE ” Patty Stetak is on edge as she and her family await word on the fate of their Mount Diablo Circle home in the Mountainview Estates. The Stetak’s are in the Bay area holding their breaths.
“I heard that only seven homes on my street were OK, and 22 others were burned. I don’t think our house made it,” she said. “But we’re hopeful.”
For Hec Hernandez not knowing is not an option. After visiting the Lake Tahoe Community College on Monday morning, he is fairly certain his 1463 Mount Olympia Circle home is gone. Officials were posting the addresses of homes damaged, OK, and lost there.
” The college is doing updates every half hour and they said if your address is not on there you’re house has been destroyed,” he said.
He’s also had people telling him they watched his home burn on television.
Hernadez, owner of South Shore Bike on Ski Run Boulevard, was home when the fire first began on Sunday about 2:10 p.m.
He said he was getting ready to take his dogs for a walk when he noticed smoke on the ridge.
Hernandez rode his mountain bike toward the smoke as he saw people running out of the forest. Then he saw the flames.
He said he thought to himself, “Oh my God, this is real.”
Sunday’s nightmare seemed to pass in five minute increments for Hernandez. Five minutes after noticing the smoke, he saw flames. Five minutes after returning to his street, he watched the flames growing nearer a neighbor’s house. Five minutes after that, he was putting out spot fires near his own home. Five minutes later, a firefighter told him to leave and Hernandez said he wanted to try to save his home. The firefighter tried to help, but five minutes later, “we realized there was nothing we could do.”
Governor to tour fire area
– Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons will tour the Angora wildfire site in South Lake Tahoe this afternoon. Approximately 150 firefighters from Nevada are on scene assisting in efforts to control the blaze that has already burned more than 2,500 acres.
– More than 1.3 million acres burned in Nevada last year. The 2007 fire season is expected to be similarly destructive. The lack of moisture has created extreme fire conditions much earlier in the year than usual.
– The Lake Tahoe Basin is particularly vulnerable, but most of Nevada is susceptible to wildfire and is currently under fire restrictions.
Reports from a 12:15 p.m. press conference on the Angora fire:
– Gardner Mountain area residents should be prepared to evacuate. Not other evacuations are anticipated at this point, but that is dependent on the weather.
– At last count, 173 homes have been lost, 9 have moderate damage, 7 have minor damage. To find out about your home call (530) 541-4660 ext. 336.
– A disaster has been declared.
– The air attack is grounded due to heavy smoke, but winds are increasing and should help move smoke out of the area. Moderate winds are expected this afternoon
– It will be a day or two before people are let back into their homes. Officials are conducting systematic checks of burned over neighborhoods.
– No injuries or deaths have been reported.
– Eldorado County Animal Control is on patrol and is picking up pets in the fire areas. Residents concerned about their pets can call (530) 577-1766 to see if their pet has been recovered.
– The fire remained on Angora Ridge and did not extend into the Fallen Leaf Lake area.
– Burned power lines are being repaired in some areas.
– The next press conference is set for 6 tonight. More information will be posted as reports come in from our reporters and photographers in the field.
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