Evacuation order lifted in Burnside fire

Jonah M. Kessel / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Associated Press

Jonah M. Kessel / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Associated Press

Evacuations due to the Burnside fire in Hope Valley were lifted Monday, but could be reinstated if called for by a change in fire conditions, fire officials said.

The evacuation order was lifted for Sorensen's Resort, Hope Valley Resort, Crystal Springs Campground, Kit Carson Campground and about 20 homes on Douglas Way, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center.

"The wind is in our favor," Sorensen's innkeeper John Brissenden said Monday morning, about 45 minutes after the inn reopened at 10 a.m. "Because of the wonderful crews, at the moment we're allowed to reopen."

As of 6 p.m. Monday, the fire had burned 204 acres and was 50 percent contained.

The fire near Pickett's Junction on Highway 88 broke out at 4:06 p.m. Sunday. Its cause remained under investigation on Monday.

No major highways were closed Monday afternoon because of the fire. The fire broke out during "red flag" weather conditions on Sunday, with high winds and low humidity.

"It was blowing and going when this thing first got reported to us," said Fire Information Officer Mark Struble with Sierra Front.

But a change in weather beginning Sunday evening has helped firefighters battling the Burnside blaze.

A cold front accompanied by moisture moved into the area last night, lifting humidity out of the single digits and even causing some fire hoses to freeze, Struble said.

Full containment of the fire is anticipated Wednesday night.

Officials reported one injury. A firefighter hurt his back and was treated and released to his home unit.

The Alpine County Sheriff's Office, which is handling evacuations, reported that no one stayed at an evacuation center set up at Diamond Valley School on Sunday.

A command post was set up at Turtle Rock Park in Woodfords. The fire is in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. It's being fought with the help of the East Fork Fire District, Lake Valley Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Alpine County Sheriff's Department was in charge of evacuations.

More than 180 people were fighting the fire, including six hand crews, two air tankers, two helicopters and 16 fire engines.


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