10:30 p.m.: Fire destroys 225 structures | NevadaAppeal.com

10:30 p.m.: Fire destroys 225 structures

Staff and news service reports

Phil Wooley/Nevada Appeal

The Angora fire is 40 percent contained as of this evening. Approximately 2,500 acres have burned so far. As of the most recent count, 178 homes were destroyed. The total burn, including structures and homes, is 225.

Containment is estimated to be on Sunday. As of tonight there are 1,095 men and women working on the fire. There have been no injuries.

Information can be found at http://www.inciweb.org. Click on Angora.

The fire is burning from the point of origin to the north. This is good news for fire fighters because flames didn’t spread as they did on Sunday, said Bud Ivey, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

At 8:35 p.m. a report came into dispatch of a fire with flames visible at an area known as ‘Party Rock’ located between Saddle Road and Heavenly Mountain Resort. Fire crews are responding. As of 8:48 the initial attack crews responding on foot have not located any flames.

The community meeting scheduled for 8 tonight was at South Tahoe Middle School, 2940 Lake Tahoe blvd.

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Look for more updates following the meeting.

Wells Fargo Bank said today it will donate $60,000 to support the efforts of two aid organizations responding to the Angora fire near South Lake Tahoe.

The bank’s donation will go to the Sacramento Sierra Chapter of the American Red Cross and Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Inc.

“This devastating fire is impacting our customers, neighbors and our own team members,” said Sean French, community president for Wells Fargo in Northern Nevada. “We want to do our part to support the many aid organizations who are helping victims of this fire.”

In other news, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to help fight the fire.

“FEMA is committed to a timely response whenever the State of California requests our assistance,” FEMA Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward said in a press release. “We are coordinating available resources to help with the Angora Fire that is threatening the community of Meyers and areas near South Lake Tahoe.”

El Dorado County has issued an emergency declaration and has opened its emergency operations center. Additionally, the Inland Region Emergency Operations Center and the State Emergency Operations Center have been activated, FEMA said in a statement.

The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires.

Eligible costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.

Appeal reporter Jarid Shipley says he can finally see the helicopters flying above the Angora fire.

Gov. Jim Gibbons today said the estimate of cost to fight the fire are at $30 million to $59 million.

Gibbons after surveying some of the damage said:

“This shows you how intense the fire was. Lake Tahoe is not just a California or a Nevada asset. It’s an asset for everyone.

“We put these defensible spaces around the homes and it makes a difference. You can see where homes had the defensible space and they didn’t suffer the same fate as those that didn’t.

“When ou see it burned like this you know Lake Tahoe woun’t be available to enjoy for 50 to 100 years. Our kids and our grandkids deserve to experience this national treasure.”

“It’s almost sureal,” said Eldorado County Supervisor Norma Santiago who was touring with Gibbons . “In between the devastation you see houses untouched. You see so many incredible, incredible things. You can almost tell the uncontrolled nature of the fire.”

Santiago also wanted to thank the Douglas county Sheriff’s deputies who have helped with the fire.

She said the county is also seeking a presidential proclamation of a state of emergency.

STATELINE ” Patty Stetak is on edge as she and her family await word on the fate of their Mount Diablo Circle home in the Mountainview Estates. The Stetak’s are in the Bay area holding their breaths.

“I heard that only seven homes on my street were OK, and 22 others were burned. I don’t think our house made it,” she said. “But we’re hopeful.”

For Hec Hernandez not knowing is not an option. After visiting the Lake Tahoe Community College on Monday morning, he is fairly certain his 1463 Mount Olympia Circle home is gone. Officials were posting the addresses of homes damaged, OK, and lost there.

” The college is doing updates every half hour and they said if your address is not on there you’re house has been destroyed,” he said.

He’s also had people telling him they watched his home burn on television.

Hernadez, owner of South Shore Bike on Ski Run Boulevard, was home when the fire first began on Sunday about 2:10 p.m.

He said he was getting ready to take his dogs for a walk when he noticed smoke on the ridge.

Hernandez rode his mountain bike toward the smoke as he saw people running out of the forest. Then he saw the flames.

He said he thought to himself, “Oh my God, this is real.”

Sunday’s nightmare seemed to pass in five minute increments for Hernandez. Five minutes after noticing the smoke, he saw flames. Five minutes after returning to his street, he watched the flames growing nearer a neighbor’s house. Five minutes after that, he was putting out spot fires near his own home. Five minutes later, a firefighter told him to leave and Hernandez said he wanted to try to save his home. The firefighter tried to help, but five minutes later, “we realized there was nothing we could do.”

– More than 1.3 million acres burned in Nevada last year. The 2007 fire season is expected to be similarly destructive. The lack of moisture has created extreme fire conditions much earlier in the year than usual.

– The Lake Tahoe Basin is particularly vulnerable, but most of Nevada is susceptible to wildfire and is currently under fire restrictions.

– Gardner Mountain area residents should be prepared to evacuate. Not other evacuations are anticipated at this point, but that is dependent on the weather.

– At last count, 173 homes have been lost, 9 have moderate damage, 7 have minor damage. To find out about your home call (530) 541-4660 ext. 336.

– A disaster has been declared.

– The air attack is grounded due to heavy smoke, but winds are increasing and should help move smoke out of the area. Moderate winds are expected this afternoon

– It will be a day or two before people are let back into their homes. Officials are conducting systematic checks of burned over neighborhoods.

– No injuries or deaths have been reported.

– Eldorado County Animal Control is on patrol and is picking up pets in the fire areas. Residents concerned about their pets can call (530) 577-1766 to see if their pet has been recovered.

– The fire remained on Angora Ridge and did not extend into the Fallen Leaf Lake area.

– Burned power lines are being repaired in some areas.

– The next press conference is set for 6 tonight. More information will be posted as reports come in from our reporters and photographers in the field.