Updated July 24, 2021 - 3:45 pm
A fire near Lake Tahoe had burned more than 65,000 acres Saturday, prompting a state of emergency declaration from the governor, evacuations and major highway closures.
The Tamarack Fire was sparked by lightning on July 4 in Alpine County, California, according to a statement from the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s online log. By Saturday afternoon, 65,152 acres had burned in Nevada and California, and the fire was 4 percent contained.
Forest rangers blamed the high winds Friday for “extreme fire behavior,” leading to a state of emergency declaration from Gov. Steve Sisolak Friday afternoon. At the time of the announcement, 3,500 Nevadans were under evacuation orders and 2,700 homes were threatened.
The fire jumped the state line into Nevada Wednesday, prompting evacuations and road closures in Douglas County, Alpine County and Plumas County.
More than 1,400 firefighters were working on the blaze Saturday, and fire officials estimate containment of the fire by Aug. 31.
The fire jumped east of Highway 395 in Douglas County on Thursday and a statement from the county Saturday warned residents that the sheriff’s office would no longer be escorting the public through the highway.
“The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind those who chose not to evacuate, that if they leave the area, they will not be allowed back in,” Saturday’s statement read.
The online fire log for Carson Ranger District indicates the Tamarack Fire is the tenth wildfire reported in the area since April.