VIDEO: Progress of 176-acre Emerald Fire near South Lake Tahoe stopped; evacuation orders to lift at 3 p.m. Sunday (will be updated) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

VIDEO: Progress of 176-acre Emerald Fire near South Lake Tahoe stopped; evacuation orders to lift at 3 p.m. Sunday (will be updated)

A fire truck sits near the blaze during the early morning hours Friday near South Lake Tahoe.
Courtesy / CAL FIRE

Monday, noon — Highway 89 is now open to through traffic. Vehicles will be metered through the fire area by Caltrans, according to CAL FIRE.

The highway is subject to future closure as crews work to remove debris from the road.

At the same time, evacuation orders for Cascade Properties and Cascade Lake have also been lifted.

Liberty Utilities is working to repair damaged infrastructure in the burn area in order to restore power to Spring Creek Tract.

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Sunday, 2:30 p.m. — According to CAL FIRE, evacuation orders will be lifted as of 3 p.m. for the following:

  • Cathedral Road
  • Springs Creek Tract
  • Camp Shelly
  • Camp Concord
  • Mt Tallac Road

The following areas will be open to residents only;

  • Cascade Properties
  • Cascade Lake

Fire crews, Law enforcement, Cal Trans and Liberty Utilities continue to work in the area. Residents are advised to take extra caution while driving in these areas.

Highway 89 remains closed while Cal Trans removes debris from the roadway, and evaluates and removes any trees that may pose a hazard to the roadway.

“Forward progress of the fire has been stopped,” a Sunday news release said.

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Saturday, 6:07  p.m. — A CAL FIRE news release sent by email at 6:07 p.m. said the fire is 90 percent contained. It added, “Unified command has been established with the USFS, and CAL FIRE. Heavy precipitation is occurring over the fire area and wind is impacting firefighting operations. Forward progress of the fire has been stopped. The removal of hazardous trees from Highway 89 and around residences is ongoing. Debris continues to impact the roadway due to the high winds and torrential rains. Fire suppression repair continues on the fire where safe. Liberty Utilities is working to restore power to the area.”

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Saturday, 6:05 p.m. — Karen Kuentz, with U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, released an Emerald Fire update at 5:27 p.m. It stated: “Crews were able to walk the perimeter today and determine that the fire is 176 acres.  Containment is still at 80 percent. Highway 89 remains closed between Fallen Leaf Road and Bayview Campground, and evacuation areas (Spring Creek, Cathedral, West shore of Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Properties, and Cascade Lake) remain the same, due to weakened and burning trees, power line issues, rolling debris, and highway hazards.”

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Saturday morning update, Oct. 15 — Brice Bennett, Public Information Officer with CAL FIRE Amador El Dorado Unit, said “No change this morning. Crews briefing now to get the hazardous tree assessment going.”

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A wildfire burning at Emerald Bay and Cascade Lake since the early hours of Friday morning, Oct. 14, reportedly charred approximately 210 acres and was 80 percent contained as of 5:15 p.m.

Brice Bennett, Public Information Officer with CAL FIRE Amador El Dorado Unit, reported that all evacuations still remain in place as of Friday evening because of tree hazards; it’s not safe in the area.

The wildfire was reported at 1:33 a.m. Friday.

“Unified command has been established with the USFS, Lake Valley Fire, and CAL FIRE,” a CAL FIRE news release said. “Fire is burning in the Cascade Lake/ Emerald Bay region of South Lake Tahoe. Very strong winds ahead of the incoming storm system are fanning the fire in different directions resulting in dangerous rates of spread. Currently beginning to rain over the fire.”

Evacuations are mandatory for Spring Creek, Cathedral, west shore of Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Properties and Cascade Lake. Those evacuated should go to South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center for shelter.

As of 9 a.m. there was only one evacuee who had stopped by the center for information from the Red Cross volunteers.

Road Closures include Highway 89 from Camp Richardson to Meeks Bay.

CAL FIRE, USFS, Lake Valley, Meeks Bay Fire, South Lake Tahoe Fire, El Dorado Sheriffs, SLT PD, CHP, State Parks, CALTrans, Fallen Leaf Lake Fire, North Tahoe Fire and Liberty Utilities are cooperating agencies.

Twenty engines, seven crews, two water tenders, and two dozers are on site with additional resources on order, according to U.S. Forest Service.

“We’re going to see on-and-off rain up in Tahoe through Sunday night, and some of the rain could be heavy. As far as continued fire activity, it’s going to be very low because of all the precipitation,” said Wendell Hohmann of the National Weather Service.

Further, a 750-acre wildfire is burning out of control south of Reno in Washoe Valley, forcing evacuations, and closing roads and schools.

Winds gusting up to 76 mph are fueling the fire that started at 2:20 a.m. on Friday, leaving more than 5,000 people without power, mostly in southwest Reno.

At least one structure has burned in an area along the Mount Rose Highway connecting Reno to Lake Tahoe where another small fire has started and forced evacuations.

Highway 580 through Washoe Valley and Eastlake Boulevard are closed until further notice. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes. People in the area should be alert for possible evacuations.

An evacuation center has been established at Depoali Middle School, 9300 Wilbur May Parkway, Reno. As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that residents with large animals transport them to the Reno-Sparks Livestock Event Center at 1350 N Wells Ave, Reno.

Scott Sonner with the Associated Press reported that “the National Weather Service issued multiple watches and warnings along the Sierra’s eastern front Thursday ahead of a series of powerful storms expected to bring rain, high-elevation snow, strong winds and increased fire danger to western Nevada through the weekend.”

“We do have the second part of the storm coming in, starting to arrive tomorrow. We’re expecting strong winds tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night for the area. We’re going to see another period of strong winds in those fire areas. The good news is it’s not going to be as dry as it was today. If something were to get started, it could spread very fast,” Hohmann said.

As of 10:15 a.m., Associated Press reported that “Hundreds of firefighters along the California-Nevada line are battling dangerous wind-whipped wildfires at Lake Tahoe and in the valley between Carson City and Reno.” El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office already ordered 500 homes to evacuate. Associated Press has also noted that “no injuries or structural damage has been reported” at Lake Tahoe’s South Shore.