Gondola Fire will simmer all summer | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Gondola Fire will simmer all summer

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Don’t worry. It’s harmless smoke.

Inside the Gondola Fire’s perimeter and below the mountainous surface facing Stateline, roots are still burning and sending light plumes of smoke into the air.

Kit Bailey, forest management officer for the U.S. Forest Service, advised people to get used to the phenomenon.

“It’s going to be a daily occurrence throughout the summer that smoke will be showing in the interior of the Gondola Fire,” he said. “It’s common. It’s no threat.”

Roots, buried a couple of feet in the ground, will heat up and cause smoke to filter upward. Firefighters call them stumphole fires.

“We just get a couple a day and we go out and check it,” Bailey said. “So far, all of them have been well inside the burn area. If it’s on the perimeter we would take a closer look at it because it’s something we need to knock out.”

Crews have mopped up the fire as much as 1,000 feet from the perimeter and a crew has patrolled the scarred earth periodically for the last several weeks, Bailey said.

Bailey expects the smoke to remain until the weather undergoes a major change and brings long-lasting moisture to the area.

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