Kingsbury Grade reopened to travel
July 4, 2002
Kingsbury Grade was reopened to traffic at 4:40 p.m. Thursday as firefighters made headway against the 672-acre Gondola fire.
Full containment was forecast for Sunday, although Forest Service spokesman Rex Norman said it could come sooner. Control was expected by Wednesday.
The fire won’t stop tonight’s Fourth of July fireworks at Lake Tahoe.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Lights on the Lake will go on as planned.
The fire continues to burn in the Sierra above Kingsbury Grade, which was still closed to all but emergency vehicles on Thursday afternoon.
According to Sgt. Lance Modispacher of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, there is no estimate on when the Grade willo reopen.
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Tahoe-Douglas Fire Chief Tim Smith said the fire is about 50 percent contained.
Donna Brand of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross said 450 people registered at the evacuation shelter, located at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School in the Gardnerville Ranchos.
“We still have the shelter going down at the Middle school,” she said. “About 200 stayed overnight, we served 400 dinners and 823 snacks.”
The Red Cross emergency response vehicle is at South Lake Tahoe helping the firefighting effort.
“We know we will be open this evening,” she said. “A lot depends on what the weather does. We’ll be here through tonight and we’ll have to see about tommorrow.”
Between the Gondola Fire and the Cannon Fire down in Walker, the Sierra Nevada Chapter’s funds are depleted.
“We sure appreciate donations to help out the local chapter,” she said.
The Federeal Emergency Management Agency authorized federal funds to help Nevada pay to fight the Gondola fire which threatened up to 350 homes and 200 commercial buildings.
Federal money will be available to help pay up to three-quarters of the state’s firefighting costs.