Sierra burn declared wildland fire |

Sierra burn declared wildland fire

What started out as a 2,100-acre prescribed burn was declared a wildfire on Thursday afternoon after weather conditions took a turn for the windy.

The burn at Caples Lake threatened Highway 88 just west of Kirkwood on Thursday

“Fire managers made the decision due to unfavorable weather conditions and the inability to meet previously established objectives,” according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire started Sept. 30 with pile burning after the previous rain and snow. Fire managers began building a fire line to secure the perimeter.

“Unfavorable conditions over the past few days prevented crews from being able to complete the firing operations and contributed to the incident being declared a wildland fire.”

A red flag warning for critical fire danger was issued by the National Weather Service for the Sierra’s West Slope on Thursday and lasted through Friday morning.

That warning prompted Sierra Gas & Electric to shut down power to many locations in California, including along Highway 4 to Bear Valley and Highway 50 to Twin Bridges.

Power is not expected to be restored in some areas until the weekend.

The Caples Lake burn sent smoke into Carson Valley on Monday and Tuesday, but when the wind shifted the smoke was pushed west into California.

Meanwhile, fall burn season begins today in the East Fork Fire Protection District.

Permits are available at Burners must call 775-783-6497 each day to learn if it is a permissive burn day and what the hours for burning are. Open burns on nonpermitted days will be extinguished and the burner could be cited.