Tribune staff report

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July 8, 2013
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Fire burning 615 acres in Eldorado National Forest

UPDATE (12:34 p.m.): Officials have upgraded the size of the fire to 615 acres. According to Caltrans, one-way traffic control with an escort on Highway 50 between Alder Creek and Sand Flat in El Dorado County is still in place.

(10:08 a.m.): The U.S. Forest Service said crews worked through the night and have made good progress constructing a fire line around the perimeter of the fire. Today, crews will continue to construct and secure the fire line with the help of aircraft. Communities along the Highway 50 corridor, the Lake Tahoe Basin and the Crystal Basin areas may be impacted by smoke. Today’s temperatures are expected to remain warm with light winds throughout the day, according to the USFS. No injuries have been reported. Highway 50 is limited to one lane, escorted by Caltrans, between Alder Creek and Sand Flat Campground.

(July 9, 9:40 a.m.): As of 9:30 a.m., the Kyburz Fire is still at 160 acres and is now at 40 percent containment. The blaze is fueled by timber and brush. Today, crews will continue building and improving firelines. Campground facilities in the Crystal Basin are open. Granite Springs Road is closed, officials said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(8:43 p.m.): According to Caltrans, Highway 50 at Sly Park and Meyers is now under one-way traffic control from Alder Creek to Sand Flat. As of 8 p.m., the Kyburz Fire had spread to 50 acres. The incident began at 12:41 p.m. Six air tankers, five helicopters, 13 engines, six hand crews and five water tenders have been assigned to the fire.

(4:10 p.m.) The fire is on the north side of the highway. Highway 50 is completely closed at the Sand Flat Campground in Pollock Pines.

(4:04 p.m.): According to the U.S. Forest Services, the Kyburz Fire in the Eldorado National Forest is 40-50 acres. Eight air tankers and five helicopters have been assigned to the fire.

(3:53 p.m.): As of 3:45 p.m., the fire was zero percent contained. One witness reportedly saw the fire spread from a plume of smoke to a cloud. Firefighters are headed up a ridge near Ice House Road in While Hall. Some campgrounds are being evacuated. Helicopters are dropping water. There is no estimate on the size of the fire yet.

U.S. Highway 50 has been closed in Meyers because of a grass fire producing heavy smoke, making the area unsafe for motorists, according to Caltrans.

Eastbound traffic is being held at Sly Park Road in Pollock Pines and westbound traffic is being held in Meyers, just west of South Lake Tahoe.

The fire started in a rural section of the highway between White Hall and Kyburz. It is spreading east. The CHP is reporting that the fire started when a vehicle blew a tire.

There are no detours in place yet and no estimated time when the highway will reopen. Follow Caltrans on Twitter @D3PIO for the latest updates.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 9, 2013 04:40PM Published Jul 11, 2013 09:15AM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.