Mono fire threatens town of Topaz
Thursday 2:00 p.m. Update
The Slinkard Fire is burning 5,000 acres in the Slinkard Valley.
Wednesday night the fire burned up to Highway 395 south of Topaz Lake and remains at 0 percent containment.
There were no injuries or structures lost as of Thursday morning, however Topaz, Coleville and Walker areas experienced power outages. Liberty Utility power poles and structures were knocked down. The electrical company said they plan on replacing the poles if conditions hold. They also plan on getting a generator to the area in anticipation of any structural damage the fire may cause.
Highway 89 and 395 remain closed. Highway 89 is closed between Highway 395 and Highway 4 at Monitor Pass. Highway 395 is close from the junction of State Route 182 in Bridgeport to the Nevada state line in both directions.
Highway 208 closed Thursday at Granite Way in the Topaz Ranch Estates, though residents may pass with proper identification. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said Douglas County School transportation would be running as usual on Thursday.
7: 20 p.m. Update
A 3,000 acre fire crossed Highway 89 as it burned toward Topaz Lake on Wednesday afternoon.
Down-canyon winds drove the Slinkard Fire forcing evacuations in California, and prompting Douglas County deputies to go door-to-door recommending Nevada residents be prepared to leave.
“This evening’s winds were not as strong as predicted and this is assisting fire crews in their efforts,” fire authorities reported “Crews will continue these efforts tonight with the focus being on protecting the town of Topaz.”
The fire crossed Highway 89 on Wednesday afternoon. Both it and Highway 395 are closed due to the fire.
“Fire crews continue to put in dozer line along the eastern edge of Topaz and numerous engines are in place for structure protection,” according to fire officials.
There are five hand crews, numerous engines, three helicopters and support staff assigned to the fire. A Type 3 Incident Management Team is en route. A Type 1 Incident Management Team is being ordered. The fire appears to have been started by recent lightning storms.
6 p.m. update A 3,000-acre fire is forcing evacuations in Topaz area. The Slinkard fire is growing and moving toward Topaz.
Highway 395 is closed from the junction of CA State Route 183 in Bridgeport to the Nevada state line. There is no estimated time for reopen.
The fire is moving east towards Topaz. Fire engines are in place along the eastern edge of Topaz for structure protection and crews are putting in a dozer line.
According to the Bishop Bureau of Land Management, the fire is estimated to be 1,500 acres with 0 percent containment. The fire is burning in cheat grass, sagebrush and pinyon.
The Mono County Sheriff’s Office says evacuations have also been issued for residences from Robert’s Ranch north to the Nevada state line.
Douglas County Community and Senior Center is taking in fire evacuees, according to a Douglas County Twitter post.
The Bishop BLM said unsettled weather is a concern with thunderstorm activity and winds in the forecast.
The Mono County Sheriff’s Office reported the fire is “dangerously close to homes and the highway.”
Evacuations have been ordered from Topaz Lane north to the state line and Douglas County has advised residents north of Topaz Lake to evacuate their homes.
An estimated 750-acre fire threatened the town of Topaz last night, closing Highway 89, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Slinkard fire was first reported at 2:30 p.m. and has became a threat around 9:21 p.m.
The fire is burning in grass and brush above the corrals in Slinkard Valley.