Kyburz fire may prompt traffic spike | RecordCourier.com

Kyburz fire may prompt traffic spike

Update: East Fork firefighters are returning to Carson Valley after their strike force was released from the 200-acre Kyburz Fire. They are expected to return by 5 p.m.

Engine 14 under the direction of Capt. Jamie Buck was one of two dozen engines working the fire, and part of a Lake Tahoe Regional Fire Chief’s Association strike team.

Other agencies on the strike team include Tahoe Douglas Fire, Squaw Valley Fire, North Tahoe Fire and Northstar Fire.

“East Fork routinely sends resources to assist our neighbors as we have had great experience with them coming to help us in our times of need,” East Fork Deputy Chief Dave Fogerson said. “East Fork maintains the same level of coverage within our community when we send resources out. We receive reimbursement from the incident for our costs, so local taxpayers are not footing the bill.”

Fire officials hope to have at least one lane of Highway 50 near Kyburz open late this afternoon or evening depending on how well efforts go to extinguish a 200-acre wildfire burning on the West Slope.

With the highway closed, Carson Valley residents may see more traffic as travelers use Highway 88 to cross the Sierra today

Officials said reopening the highway is a priority.

As of Friday morning, the Kyburz fire was burning on both sides of Highway 50 forcing some campground evacuations.

Officials said cooler than average temperatures and light winds have helped firefighters get a line around 30 percent of the fire.

Motorists are being directed down Highway 49 to Highway 88.

“The fire is burning in the lower half of the canyon east of Whitehall on both sides of the American River,” according to the U.S. Forest Service. “About 90 percent of the fire is on the north side of the river burning in steep slopes below Weber Mill Road. The west side of the fire has burned into light fuels from the 2013 Kyburz fire. PG&E power-lines have been de-energized between Whitehall and Kyburz.”

Officials say 350 firefighters are working to extinguish the blaze, which is burning in heavy timber. The fire has jumped the American River and is burning east up the Sierra slope.

An East Fork Fire District paramedic engine company is one of more than two dozen fighting the fire. Also working the fire are nine hand crews, helicopters and air tankers.

Engine 14 under the direction of Capt. Jamie Buck is part of a Lake Tahoe Regional Fire Chief’s Association strike team.

Other agencies on the strike team include Tahoe Douglas Fire, Squaw Valley Fire, North Tahoe Fire and Northstar Fire.

“East Fork routinely sends resources to assist our neighbors as we have had great experience with them coming to help us in our times of need,” East Fork Deputy Chief Dave Fogerson said. “East Fork maintains the same level of coverage within our community when we send resources out. We receive reimbursement from the incident for our costs, so local taxpayers are not footing the bill.”

The fire was reported at 1:58 p.m. Thursday. Carson Valley residents reported smelling smoke from the fire on Thursday evening.