Thunderstorm douses Washington Fire |

Thunderstorm douses Washington Fire

A board at the Minden Post Office with information about the Washington Fire is a little worse for wear after a rain storm on Tuesday night. The Washington Fire got similar treatment on Wednesday when 1.7 inches of rain fell in the area.
Kurt Hildebrand |

Genoa, Nev. — Wednesday’s thunderstorms helped firefighters by dropping 1.7 inches of rain between Monitor Pass and Markleeville.

While the rain caused debris flows that temporarily closed highways 4 and 89, it also doused the area, allowing hand crews to get a line more than three-quarters of the Washington Fire, according to Spokesman Jose Acosta.

The 17,790-acre fire that threatened Markleeville is 77 percent contained as of Thursday morning.

Fire officials are holding a meeting with residents at 6 p.m. to discuss the outlook for the fire, which has so far cost $11 million to extinguish. That meeting is at Turtle Rock Park in Markleeville.

Highways 4 and 89 are open this morning, but secondary roads off the highways are still closed to the public. Motorists are asked to slow down on those highways because firefighters are still working there.

The fire is expected to be contained by July 31, federal officials said Thursday.

Caused by a lightning strike sometime in early June, the fire was first detected June 19 and quickly burned to within two miles of Markleeville, prompting a threat of evacuation and closing highways 4 and 89 for a week.