Highway 89 reopens over Monitor Pass, Slinkard Fire close to contained | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Highway 89 reopens over Monitor Pass, Slinkard Fire close to contained

Kurt Hildebrand
An MD-11 tanker drops a huge load of slurry on the north flank of the Slinkard Fire in an effort to keep the flames from progressing towards Holbrook Junction Friday.
Brad Coman

Highway 89 over Monitor Pass opened to residents as firefighters put the final touches on a line around the nearly 9,000-acre Slinkard Fire.

Fire officials report there’s a line around 93 percent of the lightning-set fire that threatened neighborhoods and businesses around Topaz Lake.

Full containment is expected by Saturday.

As the work to extinguish the blaze continues, crews will make the transition to rehabilitating dozer and hand lines, roads, trails and other damage done while fighting the fire.

The Slinkard Fire has been burning since Aug. 29, and residents are warned they may see flare-ups in the burn area at night.

“These flare-ups are well within the burned area, and do not represent a treat to containment lines,” officials said Wednesday morning.

More than 600 firefighters battled the blaze at its height. That number has dropped by more than half.

SoCal Team 3 Commander Mike Wakoski issued his thanks to residents for their support and patience during the fire.

“The communities impacted by this fire should take pride in their response to this crisis,” officials said. “Fire has a place in the natural world, but it can be disruptive when it threatens our homes, our lives and our public lands.”

As firefighters demobilize, the command post at the Douglas County Fairgrounds will wrap up its work.

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