Residents along the Highway 395 corridor from Leviathan Mine Road to Holbrook are being advised to evacuate as the the Tamarack Fire burns into Douglas County.
Douglas County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team members were called out at 7:50 p.m. to go door-to-door to advise residents of the region in the Pine Nut Mountains to evacuate.
Not two hours before the evacuations, officials said the fire burned to within a half-mile of the Nevada state line on Tuesday, and that keeping the fire away from Highway 395 was a priority.
The fire’s official size is 39,000 acres as of 7 p.m. as it burned toward the Nevada state line, according to the InciWeb Incident Information System. Washoe Tribe Police are notifying residents of tribal allotments to evacuate to the Douglas County Community and Senior Center, as the evacuation center in Dresslerville isn't ready.
Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley asked residents to be mindful of the fire and to have a plan should they evacuate.
“Keep in mind there could be power outages and road closures,” he said at a briefing 6 p.m. Tuesday. “If there’s something you’re going to need, take care of it now, so you have it when you need it.”
The county is encouraging residents to sign up for reverse 911 so they can be notified if there’s a danger from the fire.
To sign up visit douglascounty.onthealert.com and register your mobile phone number and physical address.
Fire officials said their priority was protecting the Highway 395 corridor from Ruhenstroth south.
“We have a lot of crews on the 395 corridor, and we’re working assessing risk,” Operations Section Chief Pat Seekins said. “We had crews looking for options to establish a dozer line to exclude impacts from the fire if it pushes northeast. There’s a lot of potential for this fire to move around in here. Our highest priority is the 395 corridor.”
Highway 88 was closed on Tuesday after Alpine Undersheriff Tom Minder said there’s active fire in Woodfords Canyon.
The highway was shut down between the state line and Picketts Junction.
Several fire crews are working on the south of Woodfords in an effort to keep the fire from jumping Highway 88 and getting into the forest in the Carson Range.
“There has been some pretty significant fire activity along Woodfords, but there are a lot of firefighters there,” Seekins said.
Fire Behavior Analyst Glen Lewis said unseasonably hot and dry weather is contributing to the fire growth like open damper on a chimney.
“When it’s all the way open the fire is accelerated,” he said.
He said that while there’s not been significant wind, unstable air caused by the fire’s heat is contributing to the fire’s growth.
He said that firefighters are expecting hot and dry conditions for the foreseeable future.
Incident Commander Dan Dallas said clear skies on Tuesday allowed aircraft to fly on the fire, but sunny weather heats up fuel.
“It’s just about as dry as it’s possible to get,” he said.
Those evacuating large animals have been directed to the Carson City Fairgrounds at Fuji Park in Carson City.
The Douglas County Fairgrounds is being used by other events.
Residents should provide food for livestock and bring water buckets if possible. Carson cannot shelter dogs or cats.
Anyone who evacuates who lives south of Leviathan Mine Road should go to the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Center. Those who live north of the road should go to the Douglas County Community & Senior Center in Gardnerville.
Because the center is being used as a shelter, all Senior Resistance Exercise Classes are cancelled. Anyone participating in any other meetings or events at the center should check to see if they’re still scheduled.