Storm drives fires, leaves roads icy |

Storm drives fires, leaves roads icy

by Rachel Spacek and Kurt Hildebrand
R-C Staff
East Fork firefighters examining fire damage to a shed.
Rachel Spacek |

High winds and arcing power lines complicated response to a fire that threatened a home on Arrowhead Drive in the Gardnerville Ranchos on Wednesday.

A wind gauge at Riverview and 395 recorded a 55 mph wind gust at 3:33 p.m. Wednesday, just minutes before the fire was reported at 3:50 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Fire Marshal Steve Eisele said he requested the power company.

NV Energy reported one home was without power on Wednesday afternoon due to damage to power lines.

The fire was approximately half an acre, damaged a shed and three fence lines.

There were four engines and a water tender, an ambulance and three commanding officers. Douglas County Sheriff’s Office sent four units to the fire.

There were no reported injuries or evacuations and all forward progress was halted in less than an hour after the fire started.

It was the second fire to occur on Wednesday during a high wind advisory.

Eastern Alpine and federal firefighters responded to a rekindled burn pile above Woodfords.

Two small spot fires were reported at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

High winds drove the fires, which appeared to be from a previous burn pile.

A locked gate slowed response to the fire, which was burning 500 feet up the ridge from Woodfords.

Firefighters reported extreme winds in the region. The fire was brought under control, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.

Winds died down with the arrival of a cold front that left about an inch of snow in places across Carson Valley.

Icy roads were blamed for two vehicle rollovers within a half hour of one another on Thursday morning.

The first report was at 6:32 a.m. at Toler Lane and Decker. The second occurred east of there on Fish Springs Road near the fire station.

One person was taken for treatment from the second wreck.

Heavenly Ski Resort reported receiving 14 inches of snow in 24 hours from the storm.

Hazardous road conditions prompted the Lake Tahoe branch of the Douglas County Library to close on Thursday.

A skier hitting a tree at Kirkwood on Thursday had to be transported by ground ambulance, because a helicopter couldn’t land at the resort due to weather conditions.

Kirkwood reported 16 inches of snow from the storm, according to the National Weather Service.