Large ‘scooper’ may use Tahoe to battle Tamarack Fire; Damaged structure map released

Miranda Jacobson


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A Super Scooper has been called in to help battle the Tamarack Fire that has grown to 69,152 acres and remains 4% contained which is entirely along the northwest flank near Woodfords.

The Super Scooper aircraft can carry up to 1,600 gallons of water and was expected to arrive Friday in South Lake Tahoe, according to officials. It’s high speed and 12 second water accumulation is expected to greatly help the effort in battling the fire.

Officials said Lake Tahoe would be used by the aircraft to collect water.

The Super Scooper is an amphibious aircraft used to help suppress wildland fires. It’s scooping ability will allow for less time traveling to receive water at water “refilling stations” and allows the aircraft to get water at closer locations, including Topaz Lake, according to officials.

This comes as Alpine County in conjunction with Cal Fire released a structure damage report and interactive map for residents in order for them to check the status of their structures.

According to the map, eight homes were destroyed, with five in the vicinity of Shay Creek Road, two off Pleasant Valley Road and one south of Airport Road.

A commercial structure was also destroyed in the Shay Creek neighborhood.

A half dozen utility structures were lost in the fire as it raged through the center of eastern Alpine County. Three of those were located near Indian Creek Reservoir and three more at Turtle Rock Park.

The site is located at and crews will continually update it.

Residents may put their addresses into the site and find out their home’s status if it has been included.

Alpine residents were being escorted to their homes to retrieve personal items on Friday.

Firefighters have continued to hold the fire on the south side of California State Route 88 and kept it from burning up the mountain towards Lake Tahoe. The highway remains closed from the Nevada state line to Picketts Junction.

The fire has grown to more than 69,000 acres, and officials reported Friday that the active fire began to spot near the east side of U.S. Highway 395 near the Holbrook Junction, resulting in over 2,500 acres catching fire by 4 p.m. later that day due to difficult weather and dry fuel conditions.

The jump resulted in 1,369 people in the Highway 395 corridor receiving evacuation notices. That brought the total number of those evacuated to 2,439.

The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office ordered the mandatory evacuations of California Route 4 from the junction of California Route 89 to Ebbetts Pass.

While South Lake Tahoe residents don’t have to worry yet about the fire reaching the basin, smokey skies on Friday brought unhealthy air quality throughout the region according to IQAir.

The National Weather Service in Reno is forecasting hazy skies due to smoke from wildfires north and south of Lake Tahoe.

The service is also forecasting possible thunderstorms starting on Monday and lasting through the week.

For more information about the fire, call 775-434-8629 or email

Information can be found online at the following links.





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