Slinkard Fire on track for Friday containment | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Slinkard Fire on track for Friday containment

Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com

Growing only 40 acres in 24 hours, still conditions helped firefighters get a line halfway around the 9,093-acre Slinkard Fire, officials said today.

High pressure will continue to bring warm temperatures and still, hazy conditions through Tuesday as it locks in smoke from fires burning all around the area.

With the exception of some isolated tree and bush torching, the Slinkard Fire finally laid down on Saturday with little new burning.

The fire is burning south of Gardnerville in cheat grass, sagebrush and timber near Topaz Lake. The fire was ignited by a lightning strike on Aug. 29, and burned for three days before firefighters could get a head of it.

Fire officials said residents may see individual trees in the burn area catch fire and burn, especially overnight.

“These flare-ups are well within the burned area and do not represent a threat to containment lines.

Topaz volunteer firefighters were released from the fire on Sunday, which allowed them to reschedule their annual barbecue fundraiser for Sept. 16.

Firefighters continue to demobilize, with 421 working the fire.

Most of those are in the 11 20-hand crews. The number of engines standing by for structure protections is down to 30, while four helicopters continue to drop water on the fire.

“Fire activity was minimal overnight,” officials said. “Firefighters will continue to patrol and monitor in and around structures in the Holbrook Highlands area.”

Work will focus on the north and western portions of the fire.

Highway 395 was closed briefly while crews worked hotspots along the road. While the highway is open today, travelers are reminded there will be large amounts of traffic from Burning Man and the Labor Day holiday. Firefighters are asking they watch out for fire apparatus.

No homes or businesses were lost as a result of the fire, which burned down power poles knocking power out to residents of the Topaz-Walker corridor for two days. The fire has so far cost $2.6 million to extinguish. Full containment is expected by Friday.

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