King Fire up to 76,376 acres; ‘no immediate danger’ to Tahoe-Truckee | SierraSun.com

King Fire up to 76,376 acres; ‘no immediate danger’ to Tahoe-Truckee

Thick smoke hovers over Donner Lake in the summer of 2014, due to the King Fire that burned southwest of the Tahoe-Truckee region.
Sylas Wright / Sierra Sun |

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To follow the King Fire’s progress, visit Calfire’s website set up for the incident.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — While locals should be prepared in the event the King Fire raging west of Lake Tahoe spreads farther east, there are no immediate threats to the region, officials said.

The blaze started near the south fork of the American River, just northeast of Pollock Pines, Calif., roughly an hour or so west of South Lake Tahoe.

It was first reported Saturday around 4:30 p.m. and has grown to 76,376 acres as of 7 a.m. Friday. It is 10 percent contained.

According to Calfire, 12,000 single residences and 9,000 other minor structures are threatened. Evacuations are in effect for thousands of people, and several mandatory evacuations have been implemented.

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READ MORE: A man has been arrested on suspicion of setting the fire. His bail is set at $10 million.

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Despite the fire’s reach inching toward Lake Tahoe, no evacuations or emergency orders are in effect for Truckee-Tahoe.

“There is no immediate danger to the Truckee area,” Truckee Fire Protection District spokesman Paul Spencer said Thursday. “Obviously … nobody expected the fire to get as big as it is, but currently, there is no threat to the Truckee area.”

It’s a message that several local agencies echoed Thursday, including Truckee Police, North Tahoe Fire Protection District and Meeks Bay Fire Protection District.

“Despite rumors of proximity to the Lake Tahoe Basin, geographic obstacles cover a great deal of the area between the fire and the Lake Tahoe Basin,” the fire agencies said in a joint press release. “At this time, the King Fire … does not present an immediate danger to the Lake Tahoe Basin, including Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Truckee.”

Still, due to the fire’s spread, North Tahoe Fire and other agencies are asking residents and visitors to make sure they have an evacuation plan ready.

Truckee and Tahoe residents are encouraged to visit the “Ready, Set, Go” website to learn more about proper planning for an evacuation.

The fire exploded in size overnight Wednesday, breaching 70,000 acres and crossing into Placer County on National Forest lands, causing worry among Truckee-Tahoe residents.

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READ MORE: The Ironman Lake Tahoe triathlon planned for Sunday should still be a go, despite recent smoky conditions, officials said this week.

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Lingering smoke from the fire in the region led Tahoe Truckee Unified School District officials to cancel after-school activities Thursday. Classes resumed Friday.

“District administrators visited each district school this morning to evaluate air quality inside and out,” TTUSD Superintendent Rob Leri said in a Friday statement. “While there is visible smoke due to an inversion layer in parts of the district, the smell of smoke has dramatically decreased outside.”

The U.S. Forest Service closed the McKinney Rubicon Trail Thursday, and the Eldorado National Forest issued a forest closure for its Desolation Wilderness trails and trailheads.

In all, 4,425 people are working the blaze as of Friday morning. Further, 366 fire engines, 121 crews, 15 helicopters, 64 dozers and 74 water tenders are on the fire.

According to the National Weather Service in Reno, wind patterns are expected to shift Friday and into the weekend, pushing smoke away from Lake Tahoe; sunny skies are expected by Friday afternoon, according to NWS.

A shelter for residents displaced by the fire is located at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 3520 Carson Road in Camino. Another Red Cross Evacuation center is located at 6530 Wentworth Springs Road in Georgetown.

The number 530-647-5218 has been set up as the King Fire Information Line. Further, a Facebook page has been set up to update evacuees and others.