Residents evacuate Tahoe Keys area; crews battle 200-acre fire | TheUnion.com
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Residents evacuate Tahoe Keys area; crews battle 200-acre fire

At least one home had burned in the Gardner Mountain area as a result of this afternoon’s flare-up, Chuck Dixon, public information officer assigned to the Angora Fire, told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

The Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross has been asked to set up a shelter at Carson High School, 1111 N. Saliman Road, said Caroline Punches of the Red Cross.

Volunteers are on the way to the high school, the shelter should be up and running by 7 p.m.



Neither volunteers nor donations of clothing, food other items are needed at this time, however, monetary donations are needed. Donations are accepted at all Bank of America branches.

Two U.S. Forest service firefighters are uninjured after surviving being burned over this afternoon fighting the Angora fire, said Chuck Dickson, lead information officer with Management Team I, stationed at Heavenly Valley.




Dickson said the two firefighters deployed their emergency shelters, but were able to walk out after the fire burned over. The two where checked out at the hospital and are unhurt.

Two U.S. Forest service firefighters are uninjured after surviving being burned over this afternoon fighting the Angora fire, said Chuck Dickson, lead information officer with Management Team I, stationed at Heavenly Valley.

Dickson said the two firefighters deployed their emergency shelters, but were able to walk out after the fire burned over. The two where checked out at the hospital and are unhurt.

The two firefighters were part of a group working to protect the Tallac Village development in South Lake Tahoe when the wind picked up and sent the backfire swooping down on them, Dickson said.

The spot fire has erupted at the fire will amount to several hundred acres, Dickson said in a television interview.

He said today’s turning point came when winds picked up this afternoon.

“I was looking at the weather forecast that called for light winds,” he said. “Then an hour later the winds came up. It’s tricky to predict those winds.”

Dickson said the El Dorado Sheriff’s department said the evacuation is going well. He said as many as 500 homes, 2,000 residents are affected by the most recent evacuations.

He said he is unsure if the reports of a structure fire near South Tahoe High School is related to the Angora fire or if it was a typical structure fire.

The two firefighters were part of a group working to protect the Tallac Village development in South Lake Tahoe when the wind picked up and sent the backfire swooping down on them, Dickson said.

The spot fire has erupted at the fire will amount to several hundred acres, Dickson said in a television interview.

He said today’s turning point came when winds picked up this afternoon.

“I was looking at the weather forecast that called for light winds,” he said. “Then an hour later the winds came up. It’s tricky to predict those winds.”

Dickson said the El Dorado Sheriff’s department said the evacuation is going well. He said as many as 500 homes, 2,000 residents are affected by the most recent evacuations.

He said he is unsure if the reports of a structure fire near South Tahoe High School is related to the Angora fire or if it was a typical structure fire.

5:50 p.m. Update: Crews battle 200 acres fire

A flop over from the Angora fire ignited a 200-acre fire at the intersection of West Way and Highway 89 on Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total acreage of the Angora fire at roughly 3,000 acres.

Wind gusts caused the jump, said Barbara Rebiskie, a fire information officer. She said firefighters are “very comfortable” with handling the fire, which reportedly has not damaged any structures.

Evacuations were mandatory for Gardner Street, West Way, 15th Street, Lukins Way and Venice Avenue, according to Rebiskie. Residents in the area though, crowded streets to get to their homes to water roofs and cram belongings in vehicles.

Firefighters were concerned winds, projected to pick up significantly on Wednesday but not to the levels of Sunday’s gusts, could fuel the fire, which has destroyed nearly 200 structures. Officials are still determining the damage count.

Firefighters dousing hotspots within the Angora fire or catching some sleep were diverted to the fire at West Way, Rebiskie said. Five strike teams were initially ordered to attack the fire as firefighters also were on structure-protection duty. Five fire engines, each containing about five firefighters, consist of a strike team. “They hammered it,” Rebiskie said.

Small fires have been reported to authorities throughout the day, including a small blaze at Stateline behind MountBleu, along with people thinking there was a fire at Kingsbury Grade which turned out to be smoke from the fire at West Way.

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and First Lady Dawn Gibbons will attend “Together for Tahoe,” a Red Cross fundraiser for Angora Fire victims in Reno at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

“Tomorrow’s fundraiser will provide clothes, food, and funding for the families affected by the devastating fire,” said Gov. Gibbons. ” I encourage all Nevadans to stop by and lend their support.”

The Red Cross suggests contributing clothes, canned goods, or cash or a check payable to the American Red Cross.

The fundraiser will be held at the Atlantis Casino Resort, 3800 S. Virginia St., Reno, in the west parking lot located on the corner of Peckham and Virginia.

Update: 5:17 p.m. Highways 50 closed at Stateline, mandatory evacuations continue near Tahoe Keys, Camp Richardson evacuated, traffic snarled

According to the latest fire update there is NO fire along Kingsbury Grade. As of 4:45 p.m. Barton Memorial Hospital received five firefighters for smoke inhalation issues.

The following is from Linda Thompson, director of public relations, for Barton Memorial Hospital:

“Currently Barton Memorial Hospital is taking a precautionary measure by tranferring our skilled nursing residents from the hospital, 38 residents, to Carson Valley Residential Care. There is no immediate danger at this time to the hospital. However we are taking this as a precautionary measure due to the time it takes to load the 38 residents to avoid crisis planning. We are also suggesting that non-emergency patients ” patients who are experiencing life-threatening emergencies ” please come to the emergency room. Non emergency patients are advised to go to Stateline Medical Center at the bottom of Kingsbury Grade.

“We have 22 patients in our accute hospital and do not have plans to evacuate unless it becomes eminent. We will notify familes of accute patient transfer if that becomes reality.

“Please avoid calling the hospital unless of an emergency to maintain open communications with emergency services.”

Update: 4:36 p.m. Highway 89 closed, Highway 50 closed at Stateline to all but South Lake Tahoe residents, mandatory evacuations continue, Camp Richardson evacuated, traffic snarled The road from Highway 89 into South Lake Tahoe is closed as well as Highway 50 at Stateline to all but South Lake Tahoe residents. Nonresidents are being advised to avoid the Lake Tahoe area. Mandatory evacuations continue for Gardner Mountain area, West Way, Lukins Way and Venice Drive and have been “strongly suggested” for surrounding areas.

Update 4:15 p.m.: Mandatory evacuations underway at Tahoe Island, Highway 50 traffic clogged

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for residents along West Way, Lukins Way and Venice Drive and have been “strongly suggested” for surrounding areas. The Angora fire has jumped Highway 89 at West Way. Traffic on roads into the Tahoe Keys is clogged likely by people trying to grab possessions. Vehicle traffic is blocked at the “Y.” Reportedly, no structures have been damaged. Evacuees were gathering at 15 Avenue and Highway 89 but are being told to leave the area, likely to the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center on Rufus Allen Boulevard. There is no report of acreage burned.

Update 3:20 p.m. Mandatory evacuation begun near Tahoe Keys The South Lake Tahoe Police Department has ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Gardner Mountain neighborhood near Highway 89 in Tallac Village.

Evacuations were ordered on West Way, Lukins Way and Venice Drive near the Tahoe Keys. Firefighters were going door to door telling residents to flee.

A spot fire was reported at West Way and Highway 89.

Evacuees are being asked to report to the rec center on Rufus Allen Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe.

Fire officials have asked volunteers from the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.

Traffic was being halted at Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Highway 50, to prevent motorists from heading toward Emerald Bay.

Update 3:10 p.m. Advisory evacuation begun near Tahoe KeysFirefighters have started notifying residents in the Gardner Mountain area of a voluntary evacuation plan, after a spot fire was reported near West Way and Lukins Way.

The area, part of Tallac Village, is east of Emerald Bay Road, and just west of the Tahoe Keys residential neighborhood on Lake Tahoe’s southwest shore.

Numerous fire crews were headed to the reported spot fire.

Update 2:40 p.m. Casino fire contained at 50 square feet; human cause suspectedFirefighters quickly doused a small spot fire behind the casino corridor in Stateline believed to be unconnected to the disastrous Angora Fire 10 miles to the west.

Officially, the fire was still under investigation. But firefighters on the scene pointed to empty beer bottles and speculated that the fire was caused by people drinking and smoking cigarettes.

With so many firefighters already in the neighborhood in response to the Angora Fire, crews from Tahoe Meadows and the U.S. Forest Service were able to quickly extinguish the fire, which never exceeded 50 square feet.

“There were so many firefighters there, they could have stomped out the fire,” said Jarid Shipley of the Nevada Appeal.

Update 2:11 p.m. Casino fire contained, unconnected to Angora FireFire crews from Truckee Meadows and the U.S. Forest Service responded quickly to report of a spot fire behind the casino corridor in Stateline, and quickly knocked down the fire before it had a chance to spread.

Firefighters were unsure of the cause, but said they did not believe it was connected to the Angora Fire, which continues to burn about 10 miles to the west, according to reporter Jarid Shipley of the Nevada Appeal.

The fire was reported about 100 yards from the nearest road and about 500 feet from the casinos, Shipley reported.

“It’s burning, but they have it under control,” Shipley said.

The fire had consumed just 50 square feet when firefighters arrived.

The fire was located in a forested area directly behind MountBleu.

Update 2:04 p.m. Fire reported behind casinoSmoke and flames have been reported behind the casino corridor in Stateline. Fire crews have been dispatched to the scene. A reporter is in Stateline following the firefighters’ reports, but did not report sighting smoke.

Update 12:36 a.m. Wind forecast remains a concernWith nearly 2,000 men and women fighting the Angora fire, the U.S. Forest Service says the chief concern today, tonight and tomorrow will be winds that are expected to pick up over the next few days.

A fire weather watch has been issued by the National Weather Service in Reno. Today winds are expected to be between 10 to 15 mph along ridgetops. Tomorrow, the winds are expected to grow stronger. Southwest winds will increase, 20 to 25 mph, with wind gusts to 40 mph in the afternoon, according to the weather service.

“It is a concern and things could change,” said Todd Chaponot, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

Fire behavior today remains stable along the 4-mile ridge. There have been no reports of spot fires. It has been two days since a structure burned. Highways 50 and 89 are open today.

Update 11:55 a.m. Donation Center changes The American Red Cross evacuation station at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center is no longer accepting donations at the center. Donations of non-perishable foods and toiletries only can be taken to Al Tahoe School located at Lyons and Rufus Allen Boulevard or at the Tahoe Daily Tribune, 3079 Harrison Avenue in South Lake Tahoe. At this time, there is no longer a need for adult clothing. People are being asked to not drop off furniture donations at this time.


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