Cleanup underway from South Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Fire |

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Cleanup underway from South Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Fire

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Cleanup from the weekend’s 176-acre Emerald Fire, coupled with gale force winds and torrential rain, is underway in the Emerald Bay and Cascade Lake area.

CAL FIRE reported that the fire was 100-percent contained on Monday, Oct. 17.

On the same day, Highway 89 reopened at noon. Traffic will continue to be metered through the fire area by Caltrans as crews work to remove debris from the road. There is no estimated time of completion for this work.

On Sunday, evacuation orders were lifted for Cathedral Road, Spring Creek Tract, Camp Shelly, Camp Concord and Mt. Tallac Road; orders for Cascade Properties and Cascade Lake were lifted the next day.

“Now we are focusing efforts on rehabilitation,” said Brice Bennett, Public Information Officer for CAL FIRE Amador El Dorado Unit.

“Crews are out cutting water bars to aid in drainage to prevent erosion in certain spots as well as chipping material.”

Liberty Utilities is also working to repair damaged infrastructure in the burn area in order to restore power to the Spring Creek Tract.

Emerald Fire was reported at 1:33 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14. Strong winds coming in ahead of a rainstorm fanned the fire in different directions, resulting in dangerous rates of spread.

There have been no reports of houses or buildings incurring damage.

Bennett said they are still investigating the cause of the fire.

“Everybody be careful if you’re hiking the area,” warned Bennett. “Rehabilitation takes time.”

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