One person dead in 21,000-acre Walker fire |

One person dead in 21,000-acre Walker fire

Firefighters stage north of Topaz in Mono County for a wildfire that raged through the town of Walker on Tuesday.
Mono County Sheriff’s Office

One person is dead and scores of structures have been destroyed in a Tuesday wildfire driven by howling winds through Walker south of Gardnerville.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office confirmed there was a fatality related to the fire on their Facebook page Wednesday morning.

The identity of the person was not released by press time.

The California Department of Transportation reported 80 structures and 21,000 acres burned as a result of the fire.

Highway 395 had been closed from Bridgeport to Holbrook Junction for 24 hours by Wednesday afternoon.

Rain and snow fell in Antelope Valley and the Wellington Hills overnight on Tuesday, with Nevada fire cameras showing the Mountain View fire starting to lay down around 2 a.m.

Residents of Coleville, Walker and Topaz were ordered from their homes on the California side. Douglas deputies and members of the Search and Rescue Team went door-to-door in the remote eastern reaches of the county advising residents the blaze was headed their way.

Evacuation sites were set up at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden for residents and at the Douglas County Fairgrounds south of Gardnerville for livestock.

The fire was first reported at around 12:10 p.m. The Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch lists a cause of a power line setting brush on fire in downtown Walker.

Flames roared through the town and across the Walker River into Antelope Valley, driven by 50 mph winds that gusted to 78 mph by Tuesday night. 

According to a weather gauge located near Walker, rain started to fall at 3:50 a.m. with more than a quarter inch reported by 11 a.m. Wednesday.

This is the second time in three months that residents of Walker and Coleville had to flee a major wildfire. The Slink fire burned over the ridge from the Slinkard Valley into Mill Canyon, threatening the town.