A dense smoke advisory has been issued to Lyon County travelers due to smoke from the Washington Fire.
The fire, which is burning 8-10 miles south of Markleeville, Calif. and 45 miles south of Carson City, in the Silver Creek Drainage, started last Friday around 7 p.m. from a lightning strike on U.S. Forest Service land.
According to the overview incident website the fire had consumed 15,000 acres as of 9 p.m. Monday. The extreme fire activity is due to erratic winds and severe drought conditions, according to the incident overview website and there’s an estimated containment date of July 5 for the fire.
Due to the abundance of smoke, the Lyon County Emergency Management is urging the public to be cautious and aware of reduced visibility when driving, consult healthcare providers if you have respiratory health issues and stay indoors if the smoke is impacting your health.
As of Sunday, Highway 89 Monitor Pass is closed at Highway 395 and Highway 4 are closed. A spot fire on the west side of Highway 4 has required evacuation from the river to the north end of Markleeville and there is a high priority to protect the town. The fire has also moved through the north side of Highway 89 and is in Bagley Valley.
Five residences, 15 historic cabins and several campgrounds near Highway 4 are threatened and have been evacuated. As of now, there is no mandatory evacuation in place, though Markleeville residents have been advised to prepare for an evacuation.
The wind is advised to pick up with gusts up to 15 mph starting at 2 p.m., according to the forecast for the Alpine County seat.
There is an estimated 500 firefighters and crew expected to work on the fire, including eight air tankers and eight helicopters.