Wind shift slows blaze |

Wind shift slows blaze

The Union staff
and the Associated Press

A red flag warning was in effect until 11 a.m. today for the Tahoe National Forest, even as evacuation orders were lifted Monday as firefighters gained on a wildland blaze in the eastern Sierra ” helped in part by a wind shift that blew the blaze back on itself.

Temperatures near freezing Sunday night also helped chill the blaze that broke out earlier in the day in Alpine County’s scenic Hope Valley south of Lake Tahoe, near the junction of highways 88 and 89.

Temperatures in Grass Valley were forecast to remain mild throughout the next two days, with a high of 74 today and 77 on Wednesday.

Winds are expected to decrease by Wednesday as well, according to National Weather Service’s Sacramento office.

Firefighters reported some of their smaller water hoses froze because of the plunging temperature, fire spokesman Mark Struble said.

The cause of the Burnside fire remained under investigation.

There were no reports of lightning in the area when the fire broke out, officials said.

Fueled by gusty winds, the fire quickly spread through heavy timber and brush.

Sorenson’s Resort, Hope Valley Resort, two campgrounds and about 20 homes in the area were told to evacuate Sunday.

The order was lifted Monday afternoon after fire danger subsided, Struble said.

“We had a very favorable wind shift that blew the fire back on itself,” he said.

The fire was estimated at 150 acres and 30 percent contained, Struble said.

Meanwhile, state and regional firefighters confronted a new wildfire that broke out Monday afternoon approximately 117 miles west, north of the town of Lincoln.

The blaze, which quickly swelled to more than 100 acres, destroyed a home that had been unoccupied for a long time and presumed abandoned, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Residents of two roads in the rural area were advised to evacuate, officials said.

More than 180 people were fighting the fire, including six hand crews, two air tankers, two helicopters and 16 fire engines.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune contributed to this report.

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