Star Fire may be contained today | SierraSun.com

Star Fire may be contained today

Charles Levinson, Sierra Sun News Service

Full containment of the Star Fire is expected by 6 p.m. today, though that is dependent on a benevolent Mother Nature, according to spokespersons for the Tahoe National Forest.

The fire, 90 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, has covered 16,761 acres.

The remaining 10 percent of the fire that has not been contained is burning at the bottom of the steep, inaccessible Duncan Canyon. Crews are being airlifted into the canyon to dig line around the blaze.

Humidity is now between 24 and 45 percent on the ridges around Duncan Canyon. As recently as last Saturday that number was as low as four percent. There were scattered rains Tuesday night and more thunderstorms are expected.

“We’ve been getting a handle on the fire and it’s been coming around,” said Greg Dunn, a fire information officer for the Tahoe National Forest. “And the forecast is looking good.”

The fire has cost $22.2 million to date. There are 1,261 personnel fighting the fire and six helicopters. Air tankers are being used as needed. Fires north of Tahoe have diverted resources away from the Star Fire. There have been 14 injuries to firefighters.

Despite the ban on all air traffic in the United States as of press time Wednesday, the California Department of Forestry has been given special permission to continue its firefighting efforts from the air.

The Star Fire began Aug. 25 near French Meadows Reservoir. The cause of the fire is not known, though it is believed to be human-caused.