Kingsbury Grade is closed to traffic as firefighters battle a 5-10-acre wildfire burning in heavy timber a mile from the summit.
The fire is spreading at a moderate rate to the northeast, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.
“Winds are heavy and estimated at 40-50 mph,” according to Douglas County Sheriff’s Spokesman Sgt. Pat Brooks. “Fire crews are on scene, and the fire appears to be in heavy fuel at this time.”
All East Fork volunteers have been called to their stations to handle calls while the district is engaged fighting the fire.
Firefighting aircraft are grounded by high winds, said Sierra Front Interagency Spokesman Mark Struble.
Agencies that have responded to the blaze so far include the Tahoe Douglas Fire District, U.S. Forest Service and Nevada Division of Forestry.
Reports of smoke near the top of the grade came in to Douglas County Dispatch at about 2:56 p.m. today, Brooks said.
There’s no room on Kingsbury Grade for through traffic and staging areas are in the Park and Ride at the base of the grade.
No structures are immediately threatened by the fire. Firefighters are concerned that if the fire continues in the direction it’s headed, downslope winds could drive it into Genoa.
Firefighters are asking residents to avoid the area around the base of Kingsbury. Motorists should watch out for fire equipment on Muller and Mottsville lanes and Foothill Road.
Douglas County’s emergency management plan has been implemented, with county officials notified of the incident.
Complicating issues is a minor accident at the top of Kingsbury Grade.