Heavenly fire causes evacuation
July 3, 2002
As of 4:15 p.m. the Gondola fire had spread to 100 acres and more than 150 residents of the Kingsbury grade area had been evacuated to Pa-Wa-Lu Middle School in the Gardnerville Ranchos. Forest Service officials reported more than 2,000 people may need to be evacuated.
Kingsbury Grade was closed between Foothill Road to Highway 50.
At 5 p.m., the fire was reported to be a few hundred yards from North Bowl, a street just west of the Boulder Lodge on Kingsbury.
Appeal photographer Cathleen Allison, who is on scene, said the fire was one ridge away from homes to the north.
The fast-moving fire began about a half mile from the base of Heavenly Ski Resort’s gondola about 12:30 p.m. and was said to be spotting rapidly toward the north side of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort, said Lisa O’Daly, an information officer with the Forest Service.
Forest Service officials say the fire is moving up a steep canyon and producing a lot of smoke.
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Air tankers and helicopters were battling the blaze by air, and fire resources from across Northern Nevada were being called in for structure protection. Engines from the Nevada Division of Forestry, Reno, Sparks and Storey County fire departments were on scene.
The National Weather Service in Reno reported ridge-top winds of 20 to 30 mph.
Douglas County School District officials have loaned school district buses to aid in the evacuation.
Police scanner reports at 2:35 p.m. said there were 200 people at the top of the Heavenly gondola.
Daly could not confirm any neighborhood evacuations at 3 p.m. Daly did say evacuations are underway for those on the gondola. But Daly did not how many people were being evacuated.
A scanner report was made to watch for more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition at a home in the 500 block of Tramway.
No cause for the fire has been released and officials have not confirmed where the fire began.
“We’ve had a couple of different reports about where it started,” Daly said.
YOU CAN HELP
The American Red Cross can be reached at (775) 856-1000.