Gibbons tours fire area, pledges support to help Nevada’s neighbor combat Angora fire |

Gibbons tours fire area, pledges support to help Nevada’s neighbor combat Angora fire

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons tours the Angora fire area Monday afternoon. / Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Hoping to gain a better understanding of the scope and resources needed to combat the Angora fire, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons toured the scorched Tahoe Mountain area on Monday.

Gibbons drove through several subdivisions hit by the blaze and was also given an overall view of the fire by California Highway Patrol helicopter.

“Our next step is to make sure we provide the resources necessary to fight this fire, resources that California may not have available,” Gibbons said. “Watching these air assets work, it’s clear that when you have a fire in rugged terrain like this, the best and really only way to effectively fight it is with these assets.”

Gibbons said law enforcement, fire personnel and management teams from Nevada are assisting in various areas dealing with the fire.

“What this fire is doing is showing how important coordinated resources are in dealing with disasters in shared assets like Lake Tahoe,” Gibbons said.

“Fires don’t recognize jurisdictional boundaries and this gives us a better idea of how to capitalize on the synergy of resources available.”

Gibbons said he has received cost estimates of between $39-50 million to combat the fire, as well as the more than $100 million estimated in damages.

After the helicopter tour, Gibbons went by car to the Tahoe Paradise subdivision, one of the first and hardest hit areas of the fire.

“This just shows us how intense the fire was burning. It’s just incredible,” he said. “This is just heartbreaking and saddening.”

While walking through the burned out homes on Clearview Avenue, Gibbons came across the shell of a car completely melted by the flames. Further inspection revealed it was a vehicle owned by the State of California.

The car, a foundation and a chimney were all that remained of the home.

El Dorado County Supervisor Norma Santiago of District 5 spoke to Gibbons at the incident command center established at South Lake Tahoe Airport after herself touring damaged areas on Monday morning.

“It’s almost surreal. In between devastation you see houses that are untouched. Homes are destroyed but playground equipment remains standing,” Santiago said. “You can almost tell the uncontrolled nature of the fire.”

Gibbons and Santiago, along with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, are scheduled to tour the area Wednesday.

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