Harding Fire stamped out | SierraSun.com

Harding Fire stamped out

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunIn this file photo the Harding Fire burned timberland in the Sierra Valley.

The Harding Fire, which burned 2,270 acres of grassland and forest northeast of Sierraville, was contained Tuesday morning by more than 1,000 firefighters from across the state who have been battling the blaze.

The fire began on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at the edge of Highway 49. Officials say it was man-made, but the cause of the forest fire has not yet been determined.

No buildings were burned by the fire. Although the blaze was moving north, it stopped several miles south of the town of Loyalton.

Four firefighters suffered minor injuries trying to contain the blaze.

The overall cost of the firefighting operation ” which included 26 hand crews, five helicopters, two air tankers, 35 engines, six bulldozers and 14 water tenders ” is estimated to reach $5 million, said Rene Smith, fire information officer with the Tahoe National Forest.

If individuals are found to be responsible for starting the fire, they may have to pay a portion or all of the cost, said Smith.

Although the fire has been contained, crews will still be extinguishing hot spots in the area.

“That is the focus for the next three days ” to make sure all the hot spots are put out,” Smith said.

Until that is done, Sierra Valley residents will still see some smoke coming from the burned area, she said.

“People can expect to see it smoldering for a while up here until we get a good rain,” Smith said.

Firefighters are working to rehabilitate the bulldozer lines so that future rains don’t cause heavy erosion.

Antelope Valley Road in the Sierra Valley remains closed due to fire operations traffic and the Cottonwood Campground on Highway 89 is also temporarily closed to house the resting firefighters.

The burn area is located on U.S. Forest Service land and California Department of Fish and Game property, Smith said.

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