Tamarack Fire at 6,600 acres, 0% contained; Highways 4, 89 closed in fire area

Staff Report

Update 10:30 a.m.: The Tamarack Fire has consumed 6,600 acres and continues to burn in a northerly direction backing towards Highway 89 south of Markleeville towards the Carson River, officials reported Saturday morning.

The blaze is 0% contained.

Three structures have been lost according to the Alpine County Sheriff’s Office.

Highway 89 is closed at the intersection of Highway 4 and 89. Highway 4 is open west of the Highway 89 and Highway 4 junction.

Officials are advising motorists to drive with caution in the area as fire crews and equipment will be arriving throughout the day. For more information on roads, visit for closure specifics.

Firefighters on Saturday will utilize air resources to support hand-line construction where they can safely do so to minimize the spread of the fire towards areas of unburned fuels and structures, officials said.

Structure protection fire engines from the local area with support from wildland fire engines will continue to suppress the fire as it encroaches into the community of Markleeville and the surrounding areas. A local hotshot crew will utilize suppression tactics to take advantage of natural barriers and areas of opportunity to increase the containment throughout the burning period.

Additional resources have been ordered.

The Carson Valley and surrounding areas may be impacted by the smoke and light ash.

The fire was ignited on July Fourth by lightning. Officials at the time said they made the decision not to insert fire crews due to safety concerns.

At the time, the U.S. Forest Service-Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest posted on social media that “the fire poses no threat to the public, infrastructure or resource values.”

The Tamarack Fire as seen from Markleeville Guard Station. (Provided / Forest Service)

Update 8:20 a.m.: Highways 89, 88 and 4 are closed in the Tamarack Fire area, fire officials said Saturday morning.

Although officials say Highway 88 is closed, a motorist traversing the route Saturday morning told the Tribune they didn’t see any closures.

Evacuations are in place for Markleeville, Grover’s Hot Springs Park and Campground, Shay Creek, Markleeville Village and East Fork Resort.

The Tamarack Fire mapping. (Provided by

Fire officials said two helicopters, very large air tanker, single engine air tankers and air attack are on scene. Fire is burning in timber and brush and is active on all flanks and exhibiting high rates of spread. Ground and air resources have been working together to establish an anchor point to begin containment lines around the flank, or sides, of the fire.

Residents can sign up for evacuation notifications at Evacuees can report to Alpine County School in Paynesville. The public is advised to avoid the area. Visit for continued updates.

The Tamarack Fire Friday afternoon from Carson Pass. (Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

Original post

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Tamarack Fire has grown to 6,600 acres as on Saturday morning and online mapping indicates the lightning-caused blaze made it to Markleeville, with a hotspot indicated on the hill where Highway 89 climbs out of town and another north of town.

The town of around 200 people was evacuated last night as the fire loomed.

Officials have not updated the fire response since Friday night, but online mapping reports from Nevada Fire Information and the National Fire Situational Awareness show the fires spread.

Both the Hawkins Peak and Bald Mountain fire cameras showed flames through the night.

Highway 89 is closed from the junction with Highway 395 all the way to Turtle Rock Park, where an incident command has been set up.

A smoke plume was visible from all over Western Nevada on Friday evening, prompting a handful of calls from residents who thought it was much, much closer.

Smoke from the fire drove air quality in Carson Valley down to unhealthy for sensitive groups early Saturday morning.

The fire resulted in the cancellation of the annual Death Ride, which was scheduled to start 5 a.m. today.

Alpine County authorities are urging residents to sign up for emergency alerts rather than rely on social media for information.

Residents can sign up for evacuation notifications at Evacuees can report to Alpine County School in Paynesville. The public is advised to avoid the area. Visit for continued updates.

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