Today, firefighters were able to further contain the fire in South Lake Tahoe, that has burned 3,100 acres. Forecast winds in the are did not materialize locally, giving firemen the edge they needed to make headway on the blaze. The fire is now 55% contained, and estimated to be fully contained by July 3.
The official count for homes lost stands at 229, with 13 other homes damaged. There are 3,000 evacuees, many of whom can not return to homes as downed power lines and unstable ground pose hazards such as falling rocks and trees. One firefighter was injured when a boulder rolled down a mountain side and broke his hand.
The forecast winds for this evening are light, and the night crew should be able to maintain headway made today. The night crew is kept out of dangerous and unstable areas where they can not see falling rocks and trees, so the number of men is much smaller than the daytime fire fighting unit.
The sad aftermath of the fire is the threat to water quality of the lake. If a 30 year storm event were to occur before crews are able to come in and stabilize the watershed, sediment will be transported to the lake, and contribute to algae growth. $5 million dollars have already been spent fighting the fire, to date, with cost estimates to grow considerably.