Small fires reported near Kingsbury Grade, Raley’s |

Small fires reported near Kingsbury Grade, Raley’s

Adam Jensen

Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily TribunePolice and firefighters respond to a small wildfire behind the Stateline Substation on Tuesday afternoon.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – South Shore firefighters responded to two small fires at the start of this week.

A downed power line started the first fire around 9 a.m. on Monday near Kingsbury Grade.

The 20 foot by 20 foot wildfire off of Easy Street was contained by crews from Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District and the U.S. Forest Service by 10:30 a.m., said Tahoe Douglas Battalion Chief Ben Sharit.

A 60,000 volt power line caused the brush fire, said NV Energy spokesman Karl Walquist.

The power line burnt through because of previous damage it had sustained combined with the extra electrical load placed on it during the maintenance of a nearby transmission line to the Meyers substation, Walquist said.

The power company was unaware of the previous damage to the line when it began the maintenance activities, Walquist said.

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The downed line caused power outages to 16,000 South Shore customers for several minutes, Walquist said. The Nevada side of Heavenly Mountain Resort also lost power for about an hour, Walquist said.

Firefighters responded to a second wildfire this week around 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday after dispatchers received a report of a homeless man walking into the back of Sports Ltd. and telling employees about a fire in the area.

A second party then reported seeing smoke behind the substation, South Lake Tahoe police said.

The about 10 foot by 10 foot fire was located behind the NVEnergy’s Stateline Substation on Montreal Road.

Firefighters from the Forest Service, South Lake Tahoe Fire Department, Lake Valley Fire Protection District and CalFire responded to the fire, said Forest Service spokeswoman Lisa Herron.

The fire was contained shortly after firefighters arrived on scene.

The cause of the fire is unknown and the Forest Service is investigating, Herron said.

A homeless camp could be seen in a group of rocks near the fire. Homeless camps have previously been associated with small wildfires in the area.

A South Lake Tahoe police K9 unit searched the area following the fire, but did not locate anyone.

Police located the man who reported the fire to Sports Ltd. employees in the neighborhood near the fire Tuesday afternoon. Police do not believe the man lit the fire, said Lt. David Stevenson.