Smoke remains on horizon for Valley

The Washburn Fire burns on a hillside. National Park Service Photo

The Washburn Fire burns on a hillside. National Park Service Photo


The winds were relatively kind to Carson Valley residents as smoke from the Washburn Fire burning at Yosemite stayed mostly west of the Sierra Nevada.

But whether smoke from the 3,221-acre fire threatening the giant Sequoias will return to the Valley is entirely up to Mother Nature.

On Tuesday morning, forecasters said Alpine County, Stateline and Carson Valley would continue to hazy, but not as significant as Friday.

Valley residents without air conditioning suffered on Friday night after the smoke forced them to button up their homes during the hottest part of the season. Minden-Tahoe Airport recorded 95 degrees on Monday. Tuesday was forecast to hit 96 degrees which would make it the hottest day of 2022, so far.

Not helping was a power outage that affected 2,291 homes and businesses in Gardnerville and the Ranchos that occurred 7:50 p.m. Monday when a pine fell into power lines along Centerville Lane south of Waterloo between the two communities.

Power was restored around 10 p.m. to most NV Energy customers, though some said it was 3 a.m. Tuesday before the lights came back on.

On Sunday night, firefighters responded to a small blaze near Concho Trail and Gilman Avenue where someone had a campfire they hadn’t properly extinguished.

Forecast thunderstorms on Tuesday night could start fires closer to home. There has yet to be a single red flag warning for critical fire danger this season for the first time in more than a dozen years.

The Washburn Fire grew to 3,221 acres in size, with 22 percent containment and is continuing to burn actively near Yosemite. So far it has also burned through $2.8 million as firefighters work to save the 500 giant Sequoias near the Mariposa Gove. Fire officials hope to have it contained by the end of the month.

As of Tuesday morning, it was the only major fire actively burning in California, as firefighters completed a line around 93 percent of the Electra Fire near Jackson. Evacuation orders have been lifted and the fire is being transferred back to the local unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.


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