Kingsbury Grade is closed to traffic as firefighters battle a 5- to 10-acre wildfire burning in heavy timber a mile from the summit.
The fire is spreading at a moderate rate to the northeast, according to Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.
“Winds are heavy and estimated at 40-50 mph,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Spokesman Sgt. Pat Brooks. “Fire crews are on scene, and the fire appears to be in heavy fuel at this time.”
All East Fork volunteers have been called to their stations to handle calls while the district fights the fire.
Firefighting aircraft are grounded because of high winds, said Sierra Front Interagency Spokesman Mark Struble.
Responding agencies include the Tahoe Douglas Fire District, U.S. Forest Service and Nevada Division of Forestry.
Douglas County Dispatch heard reports of smoke near the top of the grade about 2:56 p.m. today, Brooks said.
There’s no room on Kingsbury Grade for through traffic, and staging areas are in the Park and Ride at the base of the grade.
No structures are immediately threatened. Firefighters are concerned that if the fire continues in the direction it’s headed, downslope winds could drive it into Genoa.
Firefighters ask residents to avoid the area around the base of Kingsbury. Drivers should watch out for fire equipment on Muller and Mottsville lanes and Foothill Road.
Douglas County’s emergency-management plan has been implemented, and county officials have been notified of the fire.
Complicating issues is a minor traffic crash at the top of Kingsbury Grade.