Monitor Pass reopens |

Monitor Pass reopens

Staff Reports
The gate was open on Jan. 16 for Highway 89, Monitor Pass, on the Highway 395 side. So little snow has fallen in the Sierra that the road, which is usually closed until April, was subject to road maintenance this week.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier

There was so little snow in the Sierra that Monitor Pass reopened this week after only six weeks.

The California Department of Transportation closed the pass for the winter on Dec. 9, 2013. This was the first year in the last seven that the pass reopened before April.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared a drought natural disaster in nine Nevada counties, including Lyon.

Douglas and Mono county farmers and ranchers are eligible for natural disaster assistance because they are in neighboring counties.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Douglas is experiencing an extreme drought, along with the rest of Western Nevada. Portions of Churchill, Pershing and Lander counties are experiencing exceptional drought.

A red flag warning for low humidity and gusty easterly winds is in effect through 9 a.m. today for the Sierra Nevada crest. A red flag warning indicates critical fire weather.