Tamarack Fire recovery begins in Douglas; Full containment expected in late August

Lake Tahoe, from a Zephyr Cove camera, is free of smoke Wednesday morning. (Provided /

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — California State Routes 89 and 4 are reopening Wednesday morning through the Tamarack Fire burn area to through traffic only, officials announced Tuesday.

The reopening is expected at 7 a.m.

“There will be no access on Forest Service lands,” CHP Spokeswoman Ruth Loehr said. “Be advised there is still firefighting work being done in many areas. Use caution and reduce speeds on roadways as firefighting vehicles will be on the roads.”

While firefighters continue to battle the blaze that is at 68,327 acres, 59% contained and has covered 106-square-miles.

Utility companies are also working in the burn area to restore services and repair destroyed equipment.

Officials said repairs may require road closures up to two hours and without notice. Repairs are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 31 through Aug. 2.

Efforts to contain the blaze were helped Tuesday by rain from thunderstorms moving through the region.

“This wet stuff fell out of the sky that I barely remembered and recognized,” Dan Dallas, an incident commander for the fire, said Tuesday evening at a briefing.

“This wet stuff fell out of the sky that I barely remembered and recognized,” — Dan Dallas, an incident commander for the fire.

The fire is expected to continue burning through August. Officials have set a 100% containment date of Aug. 31.

Air quality at Lake Tahoe has improved and no smoke, or haze, is lingering in the region Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service in Reno has also removed the smoke and haze from its forecast for the rest of the week.

Douglas County has moved to a recovery phase after all evacuations have been lifted there.

“Both shelter locations have been closed, allowing Douglas County to focus on providing recovery resources to residents who have been impacted by the fire,” said a press release.

Officials on July 25 began notifying residents who had lost their homes. The county has personnel available to answer questions regarding recovery and support at the Topaz Ranch Estate Community and Senior Center 3939 Carter Dr. Wellington, Nev., from 1-4 p.m. through at least Friday, July 30.

A web page has been created with links and resources regarding recovery.

This page includes information regarding what to do when returning home after an evacuation and a fire, emotional and behavioral health resources, and contact information for a variety of support agencies.

Residents should check all utility connections including propane tanks for damage and to reach out to the Douglas County Community Development building department with questions regarding building safety.

Douglas Disposal secured three locations for debris boxes for residents affected by the fire to use. The boxes will be placed at the following locations starting Wednesday, July 28:

Topaz Ranch Estate Community Center, 3939 Carter Dr, Wellington, NV (SR208 and Albite Rd)

Carson Tahoe Regional Health Center, 3324 Highland Way, Gardnerville, NV (US Hwy 395 and Highland Way)

Topaz Event Center, (1929 US Hwy 395 S, Gardnerville, NV (US Hwy 395 and Topaz Park Rd).

All Douglas County residents affected by the Tamarack Fire are allowed to dump spoiled food waste and household trash at any of these temporary disposal locations. Residents affected by the fire are also allowed to bring spoiled food waste and household trash to the Douglas County Transfer Station at no cost from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Residents who need to dispose of burned material should contact Douglas Disposal at 775-782-5713 or Douglas County Public Works at 775-783-6480.

A map of the Tamarack Fire with containment lines in black. (Provided)

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