Flash flood watch issued for Washoe, Tahoe fire sites | RecordCourier.com

Flash flood watch issued for Washoe, Tahoe fire sites

Staff Reports

A flash flood watch has been issued for both the Little Valley and Emerald Fire burn scars with rains forecast to exceed an inch in three hours through early Sunday morning.

"Local officials should prepare for potential rock and mud flows over roads near these burn scars," according to the National Weather Service.

Residents living near or downhill from the burn areas could see debris flow. Forecasters warn motorists to watch out for debris cross roadways.

The Little Valley Fire has grown to an estimated 3,460 acres with 5-percent containment. Four injuries due to smoke inhalation have been reported.

The Sierra Front Type III Incident Management Team reports that 22 homes and 17 outbuildings have been destroyed.

There are still 500 structures under threat. The cause of the fire is under investigation. This fire was first reported at 1:38 a.m. on Friday, having started in the Little Valley.

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The fire is burning in the vicinity of Franktown Road which is closed) and Old Highway 395A, which is open in both directions, but has heavy traffic from fire vehicles.

Interstate 580 is open in both directions.

The fire is burning in timber, sage and grass. High winds on Saturday created erratic fire behavior, but fire behavior has moderated due to rain having been received within the fire perimeter. Next major wind event is forecast for late on Saturday and into Sunday.

Everyone who lives on the east side of Washoe Lake or the east side of I-580 can return home. Evacuations for residents of the Galena, Montreaux, Joy Lake Road., and St. James neighborhood can return home but need to be prepared to evacuate throughout the weekend if need be. The west side of Washoe Lake from Bowers exit to the bottom of Franktown Road remains evacuated. Power is off through Saturday in the Old Highway 395 area to prevent arcing power lines in case the wind picks up.

More than an inch of rain helped stop a 210-acre wildfire burning near Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe in its tracks.

As of Saturday morning, firefighters had a line around 80 percent of the Emerald fire, burning off Highway 89 near Cascade Lake. Highway 89 is closed from Fallen Leaf Road to Bayview Trailhead.