Spring Valley and Holbrook area residents are returning to their homes thanks to the tireless efforts of firefighters who have been battling forest fires for many days. The nearly 68,000 acre Tamarack Fire south of Gardnerville is just about half contained. Two highways in the area have also been re-opened – Highway 395 on the east side of the fire and Highway 88 on the west. Yesterday authorities in Alpine and Douglas counties ended evacuations in 15 communities, allowing nearly 2,000 residents to return to their homes, according to the Forest Service.
Monday’s priorities include finishing containment on the northeast corner of the fire and securing more of the southern edge. Thunderstorms are forecast over the fire area this afternoon, and there is a chance that rainfall continues into the evening. The fire is staffed with 1,623 firefighters.
Changes in Evacuations:
In Alpine County, evacuation orders were removed for Diamond Valley Road, Carson River Road, Woodfords, Alpine Village, Markleeville, Marklee Village, Shay Creek, Grover Hot Springs & Campground, East Fork Resort, Crystal Springs, Douglas Way and Wylder Resort. Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for residents of Blue Lakes Road, Upper and Lower Blue Lakes Campgrounds, and residents who live in the SR 4 corridor from Hwy 89 to Ebbetts.
In Douglas County, evacuations were lifted for Topaz Ranch Estates and Topaz Lakes. Non-mandatory evacuations remain in place for the Holbrook Junction/Highlands area and Spring Valley areas.
Closures ended for Highways 88 and 395 this morning but Highway 89 is closed between Hwy 88 and Highway 395 to all traffic except local residents and incident personnel. Highway 4 is closed throughout the fire area to all traffic except incident personnel.
Branch I: Division K After several days of working towards each other from the east and west, firefighters successfully finished containment of the entire northern edge of the fire yesterday, from Highway 395 to Crystal Springs. Today crews worked to extinguish hot spots in the Spring Valley area and may be needed to help secure a portion of Leviathan Mine Road.
Division O & Division L have been combined. Hand crews working the fire’s edge yesterday added a containment line on both the north and south edges of the slopover fire that crossed Highway 395 to the east last week. The containment includes the area near Holbrook. Further south, containment was added to the southeast corner of the slopover, near Topaz Lake. Today, crews will continue working to finish containment of the northeast corner of the fire, which has been showing significant fire activity. Others will continue to help with structure protection, monitoring and patrolling in neighborhoods along Highway 395.
Branch II: Division Q – Fire managers have been moving more personnel and equipment into this division to help with the effort to contain the southern edge of the fire. Yesterday dozers and hand crews worked the fire’s edge from the east near Highway 395. Others engaged the fire near the Leviathan Mine, where there is still active fire. Firefighters also completed a firing operation along Big Springs Road to remove fuel from the fire’s path. Today the work continues as crews push to the west going as directly as possible along the fire’s edge.
Further south in Division T resources were being added to Monday to help with efforts to secure a new containment line. Firefighters are working a section of this area using a combination of dozers, crews digging handline and cold trailing. Cold trailing is when a firefighter inspects an area using a hand to feel for any remaining heat.
Division A and Division Z has been combined with Division A and will focus on the southwest corner of the fire where it sits in steep, remote wilderness area. A division supervisor and a group of firefighters will be scouting in this area today.
Branch III: Division F Yesterday firefighters built upon recent days’ progress and were able to reach containment on the northwest tip of the fire just west of Crystal Springs. Crews identified and attacked a flare-up of trees near the Hawkins Peak communications tower. That fire went out on its own. They also extinguished a small fire that started in a tree to the west of the Tamarack fire in the Blue Lakes area. Today, firefighters are continuing to secure control line in the sections of the western edge that still need containment. Crews will also patrol in the Grover Hot Springs and Markleeville areas.
Weather and Fuel Conditions:
Thunderstorms are expected to arrive over the fire area early in the afternoon today. The storms could be capable of producing heavy rains, gusty winds of up to 35 mph and small hail. There is also a chance for light rain showers that could last well into the evening.
Temporary Flight Restriction (TRF):
There have been incursions into the fire’s TFR area by aircraft not associated with the Tamarack Fire. TFR violations can disrupt aerial firefighting operations and may force fire managers to ground essential aircraft. Wildfires are a no-fly zone for unauthorized aircraft, including drones. If you fly, we can’t. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Evacuations, Closures, and Fire Restrictions:
For evacuation notice specifics in Alpine and Douglas Counties visit:
For closures and fire restrictions on National Forest lands, visit