Crews battle growing Burnside fire in Alpine County
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE Fire crews continued to battle a fast-moving wildfire Monday that broke out Sunday afternoon in Alpine County south of Lake Tahoe, forcing the evacuation of campgrounds and resorts in the area.The blaze called the Burnside fire was being fought with at least 185 crew members, dozens of trucks and teams on the ground.Meanwhile, an investigator has been sent to look into the fires suspicious origins, authorities said.As of Sunday night, more than 125 acres had burned, and no containment estimate was given.Winds had been blustery in the region, but no lightning strikes had been reported Sunday, officials said.
Crews from around the South Shore of Lake Tahoe have responded, including the Lake Valley Fire Protection District, which sent four engines, a battalion team and a handcrew. The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District also sent teams of firefighters.The fire is 100 acres and growing. It is showing intensive fire behavior because of these winds, said Leona Allen, public information officer for the Lake Valley Fire Protection District. Allen, a former South Lake Tahoe dispatcher who lost her home last year in the Angora fire, was assisting the U.S. Forest Service with public information regarding the Burnside fire.
Structures threatened include Sorensons Resort, Hope Valley Resort, Crystal Springs Campground, Kit Carson Campground all in the Carson River Canyon along highways 88 and 89 Hope Valley Campground, south of the fire perimeter; and some residences.
An evacuation center was set up at Diamond Valley School, east of highways 88 and 89 off Diamond Valley Road at 35 Hawkside Drive. There had been no highway closures as of Sunday night. Forest Service roads to Burnside Lake and Picketts Peak were closed, officials said. Blue Lakes Road remained open.Fire information officer Mark Struble said the blaze was making runs in heavy timber.
Fire officials had called in air tankers and helicopters to respond to the fire as part of an all-out attack.The blaze was crowning in the treetops and was spotting to the east ahead of the main fire, Struble said. Martin Griffith of the Associated Press and Kurt Hildebrand from the Record-Courier contributed to this report.
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