With a chance that thunderstorms will develop over the southern Sierra this afternoon, firefighters are working to get a line around the Minnehaha Canyon fire before they find themselves facing another threat.
More accurate mapping has resulted in the fire size being increased to 210 acres. The fire, which is burning in the Pine Nut Mountains east of Carson Valley, laid down over night, creeping and smoldering as about 110 firefighters worked to build a line around it. They’ve completed a line more than 30 percent around the fire.
Incident Commander Dave Fogerson said the grass and burned piñon pines from the 1994 Holbrook fire have fueled the fire.
“We have 108 firefighters, mostly hand crews working on the fire,” Fogerson said. “We hope to complete a line around the fire today and then work on the heavy fuels that are producing the smoke in the interior.”
High temperatures along the fire line have been responsible for three firefighters becoming dehydrated.
Fogerson said two helicopters and two single-engine air tankers are back at work on the fire. The tanker refill base at Minden-Tahoe hospital has been activated, decreasing the turnaround time for air drops.
“The weather today holds for possible thunderstorms, so we may see additional starts along with the wind influence on our existing fires,” Fogerson said.
Temperatures are expected to hit 96 today with scattered cloudiness. The temperature on Monday is expected to hit 100.
Thunderstorms are expected to move north to Carson Valley by Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.