Update: Slink fire evacuations lifted, Highway 395 open
The California Department of Transportation announced that Highway 395 reopened after being closed for nearly 24 hours due to the Slink Fire.
Residents of Coleville and Walker have been allowed back in their homes after being evacuated on Monday, which also closed Highway 395 between Topaz and Eastside lanes, according to the Mono County Sheriff’s Office. The fire has grown to 11,000 acres and is no longer threatening the towns.
Evacuees were directed to the Topaz Lodge in southern Douglas County.
Two East Fork Fire brush trucks and two water tenders responded to Coleville to conduct structure protection for the Mono County town.
East Fork Battalion Chief Scott Fraser is incident commander for the 5,200-acre Slink fire burning in Slinkard Valley just west of Coleville and Walker.
Fire tankers dropped retardant on the fires eastern flank to keep it from burning toward the town as firefighters on the north end of the fire built a line.
Gusty winds and lower humidity were an issue on Monday afternoon and evening as the fire burned into inaccessible terrain with heavy fuel.
Firefighters have a line around 5 percent of the north end of the blaze.
Most of the smoke from the fire is heading due west toward Hawthorne according to AirNow.
Smoke in Carson Valley is coming from the California fires burning north of Sacramento.
An air gauge in Johnson Lane reported an air quality index of 152, which is in unhealthy levels, according to Airnow.com. The Gardnerville Ranchos gauge reported unhealthy air quality levels for sensitive groups.
Minden-Tahoe Airport reported visibility of 3 miles starting at 5:15 p.m.
Forecasters predict smoke could be cleared tonight by a northeasterly wind into Tuesday and even Wednesday. Smoke levels will be higher near current fires, such as the Slink Fire.
“Smoke trends later in the week are highly uncertain,” forecasters said in a statement issued on Monday. “Fire activity will heavily influence smoke density. It’s probably a good idea to plan on at least some haze through the upcoming weekend.”