8:30 p.m. " West Shore Tahoe fire to be contained by 10 p.m. Saturday
August 18, 2007
Five homes and an outbuilding were destroyed Saturday afternoon on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore when a house fire above Sunnyside forced evacuations in the Tahoe Park/Talmont area.
No injuries have been reported in the Washoe Fire, but the wind-driven blaze sparked fears of another major wildfire in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Saturday’s fire is about 20 miles north of South Lake Tahoe, where the Angora Fire that began June 24 destroyed 254 homes and charred more than 3,000 acres.
The Washoe Fire was reported at 1:35 p.m. as a structure fire on Washoe Way. The fire spread to as many as four other residences. The fire is currently burning on Forest Service land, north of Washoe Way.
By late Saturday evening, the behavior of the fire had “significantly diminished,” according to the U.S. Forest Service, and had entered an area recently treated for fuels reduction to decrease fire intensity. Fire officials said they expect containment by 10 p.m. Saturday.
Most of those evacuated were returning to their homes, said Barbara Rebiskie, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman.
“It’s looking pretty good. They’re doing a good job out there,” she said. Firefighters expect to have the fire contained at just 35 acres.
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The fire started at approximately 1:45 p.m. in the vicinity of Washoe and Sequoia streets in the Talmont area. At around 3:15 p.m. fire spotting had been reported above Granlibakken.
The fire caused northbound and southbound Highway 89 to close at Sunnyside and Squaw Valley respectively.