Lightning sparks a spot fire near Martis Peak |

Lightning sparks a spot fire near Martis Peak

Andrew Becker, Sierra Sun

Firefighters responded to a call Tuesday morning that a lightning strike had started a remote fire in the vicinity of June’s 14,500-acre Martis Fire in Truckee.

As of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the fire was burning along a ridge three miles east of the Truckee-Tahoe Airport. The fire was contained by late Tuesday, according to firefighters.

As winds blew from the south at 15-20 mph and gusted to 30 mph pushing the fire to the north, California Department of Forestry firefighters were building a fire line and attempting to extinguish the one-tenth acre blaze. With the gusts, winds were sending embers flying and drawing from the fuels around the fire moisture from the previous night’s rainstorm.

Compounding the firefighters alarm was the difficult access to the fire, said Doug Rinella, battalion chief for CDF in Truckee, because there are no roads into the area and “no one had been out there in five years.”

Firefighters were using a bulldozer to improve an old logging trail that lead to the area.

About 35 personnel were battling the fire with two engines, a hand crew, a helicopter and an air tanker.

Around 5:15 a.m., a Truckee resident notified CDF that a blaze had started on top of a 7,000-foot ridge around Martis Peak, said Rinella. Firefighters responded to the fire around 6 a.m., as darkness impeded any efforts to arrive at the fire’s location.