Washington Fire fight costs reach $6.4 million; threat lessening | SierraSun.com

Washington Fire fight costs reach $6.4 million; threat lessening

Kurt Hildebrand
The Record-Courier

GENOA, Nev. — The threat of evacuation has been lifted in Markleeville and Grovers Hot Spring Campground, nearly a week after the 17,622-acre Washington Fire started threatening the town.

The lifting of the evacuation advisory was announced Saturday morning by the U.S. Forest Service.

Last week, the fire came to within two miles of town, burning along a broad front driven by winds.

"Firefighters continue to construct and secure the fireline with hose lays on the eastern perimeter of the Washington Fire while increasing the percent contained throughout the day," fire spokesman Jose Acosta said. "In addition, crews will begin to improve existing fire line along western perimeter while mopping up hotspots and extinguishing burning material up to 200 feet in from the fire perimeter along the side of the fire nearest to Markleeville.

"One of the main objectives of fire managers is to keep the fire from spreading toward Markleeville."

Another red flag warning was scheduled to take effect Saturday afternoon, this time for thunderstorms, whose outflow winds could drive embers from the fire in any direction, and dry lighting could set additional fires.

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As if firefighters didn't have enough to contend with, heavy rains may accompany the thunderstorms posing the potential risk of flash floods and swollen streams within the fire area, Acosta said.

The cost of the fire has reached $6.4 million, with nearly 1,200 people fighting the blaze as of Saturday.

It was first reported 7 p.m. June 19. It grew from 75 acres the afternoon of June 20 to nearly 15,000 acres on Monday night.