Gate fire no longer threatening structures | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Gate fire no longer threatening structures

Samantha Fredrickson, Appeal Staff Writer

COLEVILLE — The Slinkard fire, the largest of the Gate Complex fires, is moving west away from the Topaz Lodge and is no longer threatening any structures.

Winds pushed the fire to the west into the Monitor Pass area south of Highway 89.

“They’ve got a pretty good handle on that north end,” said Fire Information Officer Jack Stafford. “I’m guardedly optimistic.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency authorized the use of funds to fight the fire which has charred 8,600 acres.

The funds come from the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and are used to fight wildfires that threaten to cause a major disaster and will reimburse the state for up to 75 percent of eligible costs. The Gate Complex fire has cost $1 million.

The fire is 30 percent contained. Firefighters have no estimate when the fire will be under control.

The flames are still burning on the west side of Highway 395. The highway will remain closed. Highway 89 remains closed from Highway 395 to Highway 4.

Fire officials said it was safe Tuesday night for residents of Holbrook, Topaz and Coleville to return home, because the direction of the fire was no longer threatening the residences.

The Slinkard, Coleville and Gate fires in the complex were started Friday by lightning. Both the Coleville and Gate fires are not expected to grow.

Because of the Gate Complex fire, more than 500 residents in Coleville and Walker lost power 7 p.m. Sunday. A generator brought into the Coleville and Walker area by Sierra Pacific Power Monday failed to restore power.

Karen Foster, spokeswoman for Sierra Pacific, said two new generators were brought in Tuesday for Coleville and Walker.

Power was expected to be restored by the generators by early Wednesday morning.

“Our crews are working around the clock,” Foster said.

Foster said permanent power should be restored within five to 10 days. Crews are expected to begin rebuilding the two miles of damaged power lines today.

Residents will not have running water until the power is restored. Water is being supplied at the church parking lot next to the high school and at the Walker senior center.

There are 1,084 personnel on the scene of the Gate Complex fire. A fire management team from Oregon was expected to take control of the fire Tuesday night.

The Buckeye fire, burning 15 miles east of Gardnerville, could be handled as part of the Gate Complex fire today.

By combining efforts on the two areas, resources and fire crews will be shared between all four fires.

So far, the Buckeye fire has burned 1,000 acres and is 90 percent contained. All fire lines were tied in last night at 5 p.m. and full containment is expected today. There are 160 people assigned on the fire.

The Pony Express fire, burning 40 miles east of Fallon in the Desatoya Mountain Range, has charred 1,500 acres and is 15 percent contained. There are 32 personnel on the fire.

The Ellsworth fire, 50 miles southeast of Fallon, grew to 2,250 acres Tuesday night. It is 15 percent contained. Full containment is not expected anytime soon because the fire is moving rapidly. There are 133 people on the Ellsworth fire.

The Pan fire, 12 miles north of Bridgeport is 100 percent contained. It destroyed 506 acres.


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