Slinkard Fire threatens Topaz Lodge |

Slinkard Fire threatens Topaz Lodge

Flames could be seen from the parking lot of the Topaz Lodge Casino on Thursday night as the 6,500-acre Slinkard Fire crossed the Nevada state line along a broad front last night.

More than 400 firefighters have had trouble building a line around the fire, which started in Slinkard Valley just west of the California town of Topaz.

So far no structures have been lost, as firefighters focus on trying to keep the flames away from homes and businesses, but as of this morning the fire remains uncontained, according to the National Interagency Dispatch.

Highway 395 remains closed from Holbrook Junction to Bridgeport, Calif. Highway 89 over Monitor Pass is also closed, according to the Nevada and California departments of transportation web sites.

Liberty Utilities said it was able to restore power to 30 homes near Topaz before the fire forced crews back. According to its Web site, there are 661 Mono County customers without electricity. Plans to bring down a generator have been delayed.

Smoke from the Slinkard, and other fires, is lowering air quality in Carson Valley to the moderate range.

Eight handcrews, 51 engines and four helicopters are working on the fire according to the National Interagency Fire Center report issued this morning.

The Slinkard Fire has been burning grass, brush and timber since 6 p.m. Tuesday when it was ignited by a lightning strike.

Fire growth on Thursday was mostly on the northwestern flank uphill from Topaz and towards the Alpine County jurisdictional line.
“Fire crews mopped up and secured lines along the Highway 395 corridor, and worked to re-establish an anchor point for the fire and to construct fire line for perimeter control,” according to fire spokesman Brian Reublinger

The fire has cost $800,000 to fight so far.