Battle to extinguish Slinkard Fire makes progress | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Battle to extinguish Slinkard Fire makes progress

Timber burns near Monitor Pass on Saturday in this Bureau of Land Management photo.

Firefighters made progress building a line around the 9,051-acre Slinkard Fire, even as it expanded another 1,000 acres through Saturday.

Due to light winds, there was minimum fire growth on Saturday night, allowing crews to increase their line to 35 percent. Fire officials have moved up the date when they expect the fire to be fully contained to Sept. 8.

The cost to fight the fire has reached $1.9 million.

The number of firefighters is also dropping, with 531 assigned to 11 hand crews, 54 engines, 14 water tenders and two dozers.

Big tanker drops on Saturday helped slow down the fire, which is burning in cheat grass, sagebrush and piƱon-juniper.

Fire officials hope to control the northwest flank of the fire, which could threaten residential areas watershed, cultural and heritage sites.

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Engines remain in place in Holbrook Highlands and the area of Topaz Lake and Highway 395 to protect structures.

Smoky conditions continued through Sunday morning in Carson Valley with air quality dropping to moderate, according to the monitor at Ranchos Aspen Park.

The high temperature in Minden is expected to hit 96 degrees today with west winds 5-10 mph shifting east this morning.

Due to the fire, today’s Topaz Lake Volunteer Fire Department barbecue has been cancelled. Another date will be set for the annual fundraiser as soon as the fire is extinguished.

Highway 395 may be subject to closure today depending on the fire. Firefighters warn it may close periodically to accommodate fire apparatus.

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