Tamarack Fire estimated at more than 23,000 acres, no containment

Staff Report
Firefighters battle the Tamarack Fire. (Provided)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A scheduled infrared flight Sunday night over the Tamarack Fire was canceled due to smoke and weather, but crews on the ground are estimating the blaze to be at approximately 23,078 acres, officials reported Monday.

As soon as conditions allow, a mapping flight will be conducted to provide more accurate information about the size and location of the fire, officials said.

A damage assessment team has been ordered and will begin working in the fire area to determine exactly how many structures have been destroyed or damaged.

The California Highway Patrol reported on Saturday that 10 homes had burned and approximately 200 homes were threatened.

The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office tried to put some minds at ease Monday morning with a social media post.

“We know there is concern about the Tamarack Fire burning in the wilderness west of Markleeville,” said the statement. “There are currently no structures in danger, and there are no current evacuation concerns. The Forest Service is inserting a hand crew and requesting air support.”

Firefighters on Monday are hoping to get help from Mother Nature in the form of rain.

Officials said there is a 60% chance of thunderstorms and wetting rain, with a possibility of flooding in drainage areas and debris flows on steep terrain in the fire area, but caution that the fire could remain active after the possible rain.

Firefighters plan to continue protection efforts around structures and will continue securing established lines around Markleeville by mopping up hot spots.

Officials said a firing operation was completed Sunday night along a containment line established from Highway 89 to Diamond Valley Road.

Firefighters are working to limit fire spread north towards Highway 88 and Carson Canyon. Today, as resources become available, they will begin line construction at Highway 89 moving to the southwest.

The fire is 0% contained and 796 people are fighting the blaze.

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.

Evacuations are still in place for Markleeville, Grover Hot Springs and campground area, Shay Creek, Marklee Village, Alpine Village, Woodfords, East Fork Resort and the community of Hung A Lel Ti.

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