Lightning-caused Slink Fire near Topaz Lake has grown to 1,500 acres |

Lightning-caused Slink Fire near Topaz Lake has grown to 1,500 acres

The Slink Fire near Topaz Lake.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A lightning caused fire burning about 45 miles southwest of Lake Tahoe has grown to 1,500 acres as of Sunday morning.

The Slink Fire, located in the Slinkard Valley southwest of Topaz Lake, started Saturday morning and burned actively throughout the night, officials said.

The fire is zero percent contained and officials say the blaze has been exhibiting extreme and erratic fire behavior due to dry fuel conditions, winds and topography alignment. It is moving east toward Coleville, south towards Little Antelope and west toward the Iceberg Wilderness, burning in pinyon juniper and grass.

The Little Antelope Pack Station on Mill Creek Road has been evacuated as a precaution. There are currently no other evacuations or closures.

Fixed wing aircraft were unable to launch Saturday due to limited visibility from drift smoke from the ongoing California wildfires, so firefighters worked to establish an anchor point on the north end, or heel, of the fire. 

Firefighters on Sunday are hoping for clearer conditions and have ordered multiple helicopters and air tankers to aid in suppression efforts. 

Officials say the primary focus will be the eastern edge of the fire, which is currently about a mile from Coleville, California. Additional ground crews have also been ordered, along with a Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team, who will be arriving on Sunday.

Weather conditions can greatly affect fire behavior and officials say Sunday’s forecast is expected to present gusty winds and low humidity levels, which may further affect fire behavior.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.