Washington Fire south of Lake Tahoe grows to 9,500 acres
June 22, 2015
GENOA, Nev. — Markleeville residents are going through a second afternoon of gusty winds and dry weather with the threat of evacuation hanging over their heads.
Notices were posted on some residents' doors warning them to be ready to evacuate the town, should the winds shift bringing the 9,500-acre Washington fire to their doors.
The Alpine County seat has a population of 210, up 13 from 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Today, firefighters are working to build a line between the fire and the town.
The fire is burning two miles from Markleeville, and has already forced a handful of people east of Highway 5 from their homes. Campers and hikers have also been evacuated.
As of 12:30 p.m., an estimated 500 firefighters have been battling the blaze, with most of those manning hand crews that have been necessary due to the rugged terrain.
Recommended Stories For You
Eight air tankers and eight helicopters are aiding from the air, while 17 engines are working structure protection in the region.
Highway 89 is closed just outside of Markleeville all the way over Monitor Pass and down to Highway 395 on the other side.
Highway 4 is closed for the junction with Highway 89 to Ebbetts Pass.
The wind picked up at around 11 a.m. and by 12:50 p.m. had a 27 mph gust. Gusty southwest winds are expected to continue today through Wednesday morning when the winds are expected to slow down and shift to the east, according to the National Weather Service.
Turtle Rock Park has been closed to campers, due to smoke and its use by firefighters as a base
Trending In: Environment
- Lake Tahoe’s new reality: Study says Sierra Nevada snowpack to suffer sharp decline
- Abandoned ski areas near Tahoe struggle to recover due to graded runs
- More Tahoe-Truckee snow this winter means more ice melt for roads
- Tahoe Top 5: Animal species you might not know inhabit the Tahoe region
- Sierra homeowners are losing coverage because of surrounding brush, trees
- Storms continue to sweep through the Sierra, piling up snow in Truckee-Tahoe
- UPDATE: Court rules in favor of construction of Raley’s Grocery store
- Storm update: I-80 reopened after more than 3 feet falls in Sierra
- THE SUN NOW: Live coverage from the newsroom (Live Scanner)
- Another storm headed for Lake Tahoe this week