Highway 395 open
January 21, 2012
Highway 395 reopened tonight as firefighters made progress against the 3,177 -acre Washoe Drive fire.
More accurate GPS mapping resulted in a reduction in size of the fire that has claimed 27 homes. While cold temperatures are hampering suppression efforts, and hidden areas smoldering near structures still pose a threat, the prospect of locally heavy rains and even snow to the Valley floors should extinguish the blaze.
Officials estimate the fire will be contained by Saturday night. Gas and electricity is being restored to the area, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.
More than 350 firefighters are working the blaze, mostly in seven handcrews, six water tenders and just under two dozen engines.
East Fork Fire District and Tahoe-Douglas firefighters served with Lyon, Storey, Carson City, state and federal units to battle the blaze that started 12:45 p.m. Thursday by improperly disposed fireplace ashes.
The reopening of Highway 395 does not mean that residents evacuated from the area have been allowed back in their homes. According to Washoe County officials the area is still unsafe for residents. Highway 395 extension roads will remain closed from Mt. Rose Junction to Parker Ranch. The Nevada National Guard is assisting law enforcement in securing burned areas.