TAHOE CITY, CALIF -- A residential structure fire that became a wildland fire on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe Saturday afternoon has been contained at 20 acres within a defined fire line. Fire crews are mopping up hot spots and full control is expected this evening or Monday morning.
Most residents and visitors who were evacuated from the affected area should be able to return to their homes this evening, although some streets may remain closed overnight. The Tahoe Woods community will likely be the last area to open due to the amount of firefighting equipment and public utility crews in the area. The area is tentatively expected to reopen at 6 p.m. this evening. The fire cut power in the affected area and gas lines were turned off as a precaution.
The Washoe Fire, as it is now called, started near Sunnyside south of Tahoe City, in the Tahoe Woods subdivision and moved onto U.S. Forest Service land, and was contained last night at 11 p.m. The fire destroyed five homes and one outbuilding, temporarily closed Highway 89 on the West Shore and forced evacuations of some residents and visitors. No injuries were reported.
Highway 89 reopened in both directions Saturday evening at approximately 7:30 p.m. and remains open today. All major interstates and highways in and out of the Lake Tahoe Basin are open.
According to Fire Chief Duane Whitelaw, of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District, the Tahoe Woods subdivision remains closed to residents and non-residents due to “power line issues, crews that are working, narrow roads and trucking in water for fire fighters.”
Chief Whitelaw stressed that although the fire is contained, there are a “significant number of hot spots” that crews are working to put out.
“Fire danger is still extreme,” Whitelaw added, “And we are under a red flag alert, a condition based on low humidity, high winds and
dry fuel . . . life safety and protecting structures in our utmost concern. We ask the public to let us get that job done.”
Agencies that were involved in incident include: U.S. Forest Service, North Tahoe Fire Protection District, Meeks Bay Fire, Lake Valley Fire, North Lake Tahoe Fire, Northstar Fire, Squaw Valley Fire, CalFire (CDF), Nevada County Sheriffs Office, California Highway Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, Placer County Sheriffs Office, Placer County Office of Emergency Services, the American Red Cross, and departments from Placer County, including: Environmental Health, Public Works and County Executive Office.
For updated information, please contact the U.S. Forest Service at 530-543-2600, ext. 6. You may also call the Placer County Office of Emergency Services' operations center number 530-584-1590, which will be updated this evening and again tomorrow.