Washington Fire miles from Lake Tahoe now 29 percent contained | SierraSun.com

Washington Fire miles from Lake Tahoe now 29 percent contained

Kurt Hildebrand

GENOA, Nev. — A third day with light winds helped firefighters slow down the Washington Fire as it burned south into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, the fire was 29 percent contained. It has officially grown to 17,622 acres, mostly on its southern front.

Nearly 1,200 firefighters are battling the blaze, with 34 hand crews, 53 engines, 12 water tenders, 11 helicopters and support personnel, according to fire spokesman Jose Acosta.

The cost to fight the fire had risen to $5 million, according to a report issued early Friday morning by the National Interagency Coordination Center

Water for firefighting efforts is coming from Heenan Lake thanks to a donation from Park Cattle and support from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

On Thursday night it was decided preparations for the Tour of the California Alps, better known as the Death Ride, will continue for the July 11 event. Bicyclists from all over the country flock to Alpine County to ride its rugged roads, including Carson, Monitor and Ebbetts passes.

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As of Friday, both Ebbetts and Monitor passes had been closed by the fire.

Mapping released by the U.S. Forest Service indicated hand line has been cut from Highway 89 north past Mogul Peak.

The fire hadn't reached Indian Creek on the flank south of the junction of highways 89 and 4. Line has also been cut along Highway 4 near below the Isabella Tunnel and west of Wolf Creek Meadows.

Thunderstorms on Friday evening developed on a line from Hawthorne to Winnemucca, well east of Alpine and Douglas counties. According to National Weather Service radar, thunderstorms also developed between Portola and Susanville.

A red flag warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for 1-9 p.m. Saturday for thunderstorms and high outflow winds. A fire weather watch is in effect after that through Sunday night.

The forecast for Markleeville calls for a chance of thunderstorms with high temperatures in the 90s and lows in the 50s.

The town remains under the cloud of possible evacuation. The order to evacuate has not yet been given.