News Conference on Tahoe Fire 6:30pm Tuesday

This afternoon, the Tahoe fire spread downslope towards Highway 89, reaching within one mile of Lake Tahoe. The fire has now burned over 3000 acres and is 44% contained.

At about 2pm, winds began to build and a spot fire from the burning crown of a tree jumped the fireline, trapping two firefighters. The two men took shelter in their reflective tent for an hour in the center of a green field. There whereabouts was unknown for an hour until they were found, shaken, but not harmed. Without the tent, they would have perished from inhaling the superheated air into their lungs.

The extremely dry conditions make spot fire from burning trees a real threat to the spread of the fire, as embers from these crowns have reached as far as the Lake and the opposite side of South Lake Tahoe to the golf course past casinos.

This afternoon’s flare-up was contained when 500 fire crew joined the fight against the blaze. 1,880 ground crew are fighting the fire, with 1,400 of them allocated to day duty.

The fire is now anticipated to be contained by July 3rd, due to the stronger than expected winds forcast over the next four days. Winds over 20 mph are a concern to the spread of the fire, and winds of 30 mph+ are forcasted.

The smoke will settle in over the Lake tonight, as downslope winds will create an inversion. The biggest concern is that the fire may spred north up towards Tahoe City, and to the southeast into South Lake Tahoe. Please stay tuned to local news alerts in case of any further evacuations.

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