Officials open Highway 395 after clearing fire debris
Gardnerville, Nev. —Highways 395 and 108 reopened 8 p.m. Friday after being closed by the Boot Fire since Tuesday.
“Most rocks and tree hazards have been removed from the roadways, however please proceed with caution as the Boot Fire is still active and additional debris may be on the roadway,” officials with the California Department of Transportation said. “Firefighters, trucks and equipment from various agencies are still present, and construction crews will be continuing work through the area this weekend.”
As of Saturday morning, satellite imagery showed the fire burning north of the highway.
The nearly 6,900-acre Boot fire raged across Sonora Junction, threatening the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center.
The center, along with homes near Fales Hot Springs, Devil’s Gate Pass and Swauger Creek, are under mandatory evacuations.
While firefighters were able to stop the blaze short of the center, they are preparing for a warm, dry and breezy weekend that could see extreme fire conditions.
Firefighters report that due to growth overnight, the 3-percent containment they’d achieved was lost.
Southern Douglas residents got to see one of the CL415 water scoopers working the fire fill up at Topaz Lake. Seven helicopters and two of the scoopers are working the fire to slow the fire while firefighters can build lines to contain the blaze.
The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Sonora Pass to Ebbetts Pass.
On Wednesday, residents and campers were evacuated from recreation sites on Sonora Pass.
The fire is burning in steep, rocky terrain approximately nine miles southwest of Walker and 15 miles northwest of Bridgeport.
Forest Service officials say the cause of the fire is under investigation.
The blaze started 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and swiftly grew to 300 acres in under two hours. By noon Wednesday, it had grown to 3,000 acres.
According to Saturday morning’s National Interagency Coodination Center incident report, fire officials hope to have the blaze contained by Sept. 18.
As of Saturday morning, there were 18 hand crews and 26 engines, making up the majority of the 575 firefighters working on the fire. Seven helicopters and two water scooping aircraft are aiding firefighters on the ground.
The cost of fighting the fire, which is on U.S. Forest Service land hit $2.8 million.
The Boot fire is burning just a dozen miles east of the 36,400-acre Donnell Fire, which is 87 percent contained, according to fire officials.