Crews contain region’s first wildfire of season | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Crews contain region’s first wildfire of season

Jason Shueh and Matthew Renda
Tahoe Daily Tribune

TAHOE CITY – Regional emergency crews got their first taste of the 2010 wildfire season after they quickly contained a small brush fire Tuesday afternoon off Fairway Drive.

Crews put out the 50 square foot blaze near the Tahoe City Public Utility District’s maintenance facility, less than a half hour after it was reported. No one was hurt, and no structures were damaged, said Dave Zaski, spokesman for the North Tahoe Fire Protection District.

Zaski said the fire – which was in danger of spreading due to Tuesday’s windy conditions – was reported around 2:45 p.m. when smoke was observed from the Tahoe City downtown area on State Highway 28. It was fully contained at 3:13 p.m.

“The fire was visible from the highway and was putting up moderate amounts of smoke,” Zaski said.

The U.S. Forest Service is leading the investigation into the cause of the blaze.

“I think we haven’t ruled out anything,” said Cheva Heck, spokeswoman for the US Forest Service, in a phone interview after the fire was contained.

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North Tahoe Fire, Squaw Fire, CalFire, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District and the forest service all responded to the call, sending four fire engines and additional brush and hand crews.

An air tanker was called but was quickly told to return to base after the fire was contained, Zaski said.

“I think what this shows is that as much moisture we’ve had this spring, the public still needs to be careful, report smoke sightings and be careful with flammable products,” said North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown.

Brown said the operation went well and cooperation among departments was exceptional.

“We got there quickly and mitigated the fire,” he said.

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