Smoke still visible from Washington Fire |

Smoke still visible from Washington Fire

Staff Reports

Although the Washington Fire on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Carson Ranger District is largely contained, the public will see smoke for the rest of the summer within the burned area. The fire continues to burn in stump holes, large down logs and snags.

The numbers of visible smokes will also most likely increase as the fuels dry out with continued warming temperatures and decreasing humidity. However it is anticipated that most of this activity will be well in the interior of the burned area and pose little or no risk to further perimeter growth.

“Fire crews will continue to monitor this fire and take action on smokes where they pose a threat to containment lines and firefighter safety,” said Mike Wilde, Carson Ranger District Fire Management Officer. “Even with the past rain event moderating fire activity, there is still a lot of summer left and this fire will not be out until fall and/or winter precipitation occurs.”

Forest officials also ask the public to stay out of the burned area. “The area is littered with snags, standing dead trees that topple without a breath of wind, hot stump holes that can be waist deep and other hazards,” said Wilde.

The 17,790-acre Washington Fire is located along side California Highways 89 and 4 around the Monitor Pass corridor. Some of the local areas affected include: Centerville Flat, Wolf Creek, Loope Canyon, Silver Hill, and Heenan Lake. The fire burned within approximately three miles south of Markleeville. Lightning activity that occurred in early June was the cause of the fire. It did not become visible until June 19, with immediate suppression action taken by the U.S. Forest Service and Alpine County.

With the return of hot, dry weather, we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to wildfire danger, Wilde added. He asks forest users not to let their guard down, remember that fire restrictions are in effect, and to report any fire by calling 911, the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center at 775-782-3223 or Carson Ranger District at 775-882-2766.