6:30 p.m. Update: East Fork Fire at 565 acres


The East Fork Fire burning southeast of Gardnerville has grown to 565 acres. Fire tankers have been dropping retardant along the ridgeline west side of the fire above the Carson River to keep it from cresting the hill.

“The current strategy is for firefighters, supported by aircraft to keep the fire contained within the river drainage where it is moving upslope from the Carson River,” officials said.

The U.S. Forest Service confirmed that the fire was started by lighting.

Federal firefighters are working the blaze south of Gardnerville, allowing resources to be applied to the Carson fires.

A fire burning southeast of Gardnerville has grown to 200 acres, according to federal fire officials.

The East Fork Fire is burning in heavy brush and conifers with several downed heavy logs.

About 170 firefighters have a line a tenth around the blaze in Alpine County between Cottonwood Canyon and the East Fork of the Carson River.

The fire burned west across the Carson River and it slowed down over night as precipitation began to fall.

Firefighters are expected to be on the scene of the fire through the weekend.

“Crews are being inserted into the fire, supported by aircraft with water drops and fire retardant to secure the fire’s western flank,” officials said. “The fire is located in a steep and rugged canyon with difficult access for ground crews.”

A second fire near Horseshoe Bend was reported to be a half-acre by the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch at 10:50 p.m.
Firefighters responded to another fire call reporting smoke west of Diamond Court in Topaz Ranch Estates around 2:10 p.m.

The smoke plume that rose above the East Fork Fire on Thursday was burning more eyeballs than trees by Friday morning.

Smoke from the fire redlined air quality in the Gardnerville Ranchos to unhealthy levels overnight, peaking around midnight at 165 air quality index, or unhealthy.

The fire was first reported around 3:09 p.m. Thursday. 

The fire started in the vicinity of several lightning strikes on Wednesday evening.

A U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman said there were two single engine air tankers two helicopters and four handcrews working to extinguish the blaze.

“The East Fork Fire, which was detected by both the Hawkins and Bald Fire cameras, quickly grew from 15 acres to 50 acres,” Spokeswoman Kerry Greene said Thursday night. “Most of the fire’s growth was to the east.”

Campers along the East Fork of the Carson River were evacuated on Thursday night.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was called out to notify the campers in the area near the Horseshoe Bend hot springs in the Pine Nuts east of Carson Valley.

Greene said that the fire’s spread toward Douglas County was slowed by rain in the area, which brought cooler damper conditions.

East Fork Fire Marshal Amy Ray asked residents to be particularly careful given the weather conditions.

“We are experiencing extreme fire weather in the area,” Ray said on Thursday evening.

“The district encourages everyone to continue to be vigilant with your outdoor activities through the summer,” Ray said. “Preventable wildfires happen every year in our area. Help us keep the community, our properties and environment safe from wildland fire.”


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