Highway 395 open after Topaz fire | RecordCourier.com

Highway 395 open after Topaz fire

Staff Reports

8 p.m. update

Firefighters are mopping up an 8-acre fire that damaged an outbuilding north of Topaz Lake on Tuesday afternoon.

The blaze was reported at 3:24 p.m., and threatened 30-40 homes in Topaz just south of the Topaz Lodge, closing Highway 395 for nearly three hours.

East Fork Fire Chief Tod Carlini said voluntary evacuations of homes in the community were still in effect at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 395 reopened just after 6 p.m. after power crews completed work on damaged lanes next to the road.

"This fire burned very aggressively," Carlini said.

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At its height, 17 fire engines, five water tenders, two handcrews and a helicopter responded to the blaze, including units from as far away as Incline Village and Sparks.

Carlini said that while some crews have bee released, others will remain at the scene of the fire through the night and Wednesday to make sure it's extinguished.

No cause of the fire has been determined but it is under investigation, Carlini said.

"This was the third fire in the area today," he said.

Alpine County firefighters have a line 45 percent around a 100-acre fire burning near Woodfords a mile east of Highway 88 that was reported at 2:03 p.m.

A 4-acre fire near Ray May Way and Highway 395 was fought by Bureau of Land Management crews. That fire was reported at 2:28 p.m., according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.

6 p.m. update

Highway 395 near Topaz Lake reopened at 6:10 p.m., according to Douglas County radio traffic.

The highway was closed while NV Energy crews worked on downed power lines from a 20-acre fire that claimed a structure there.

There are 146 customers without electricity while crews work on the lines. The power company is estimating work won't be done until 8 p.m., according to nvenergy.com.

Meanwhile, a firefighter received a cut to his hand while fighting a fire near Woodfords in Alpine County.

The injury is described as nonlife-threatening.

The Payne fire has grown to 90 acres, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch. Firefighters have a line around a third of it.

Douglas County dispatchers are continuing to receive calls about the fires from residents seeing smoke rising above Ruhenstroth and Mud Lake. Calls are being investigated as they come in.

The size of a third fire near Ray May Way in the Pine Nut Mountains has been revised downward to 3.68 acres. That fire is being fought by Bureau of Land Management personnel.

5:15 p.m. update

Forward progress of a fire burning near Topaz Lake has been stopped, according to East Fork firefighters.

A structure is being reported lost in a fire at Topaz Lake south of the Topaz Lodge as firefighters responded to at least three blazes on Tuesday afternoon.

East Fork Fire Chief Tod Carlini could not confirm if the structure was a home or outbuilding.

"Structure protection and aggressive fire attack is underway," he said. "A voluntary evacuation was ordered and managed by DCSO."

Several propane tanks have been threatened by the fire which is running through structures and estimated at 20 acres.

Two hand crews are on order and one strike team of engines from the Reno area, Carlini said.

The Nevada Department of Transportation is reporting Highway 395 is closed at Holbrook Junction. Highway 395 remains closed while NVEnergy trucks are on the road near where the fire was burning. Power could be cut to Coleville as a result of the fire.

The fire was first reported at 3:24 p.m., according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.

Alpine County firefighter are battling a 65-acre fire near Woodfords that was first reported at 2:03 p.m. A third 5-acre fire near Ray May Way is being fought by BLM firefighters. It was reported at 2:28 p.m.

Highway 395 is closed and residents in the Topaz Lake area are being evacuated due to one of five fires to strike the area Tuesday afternoon.

A fire south of Topaz Lodge is reported as moving in a south to north direction and is impacting the Comstock Drive area near the lake. Two large propane tanks at the end of Aurora Drive are reported on fire, and Douglas County Search and Rescue is being deployed to aid with evacuations. Residents in the areas of Mark Twain Avenue, Aurora Drive and Comstock Drive are being evacuated. Air and ground crews are responding. Nevada Highway Patrol is also assisting with the fire near Topaz.

The first of the wildfires was reported south of Gardnerville about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, and a second was reported shortly thereafter.

About 50 acres south of Gardnerville burned in the Payne Fire, the first reported. A second, five-acre fire south of Rae Mae Ray was also reported. Residents of River Ranch Road, Diamond Valley, Chambers Lane and Carson River Road are advised to be alert.

Two other fires were reported in the Truckee area at about the same time, one near Bunker Hill and one on Bald Mountain in El Dorado County.