Timberline, Lakeview residents let back in to collect items | NevadaAppeal.com

Timberline, Lakeview residents let back in to collect items

Geoff Dornan/Nevada Appeal Incident Commander Kim Martin displays a map tracing the Waterfall fire's activity over the last 48 hours at the Friday morning Town Hall meeting located inside the Community Center.

While fire officials are slightly more optimistic about the fire, they fear it could spread northwest into Washoe County later today.

“I think we’re going to have another major amount of runs today,” said incident commander Kim Martin from Utah. “The wind will push it where it wants to go. No human can really fight that fire when energy like that is released.”

Eight homes were destroyed in Timberline on upper Timberline Road and Paradise View. One home on Denmar Circle burned. Lakeview homes were damaged but none were lost. Officials are withholding addresses.

Martin, leader of the elite Great Basin Management Team that took over command this morning, said the energy released from overly dry brush and trees is causing the extreme fire behavior.

The only area contained is the south and southeast, where the fire has already burned the sparse grass and sage. They are calling it 30 percent contained.

Mandatory evacuations are still in effect for Lakeview and Timberline. Franktown area remains under voluntary evacuation.

Residents of the Lakeview and Timberline areas are being allowed back into their homes today for a few hours to collect some belongings. But Acting Carson City Fire Chief Stacey Giomi said they’ll have to leave again.

There are still dangerous pockets of vegetation around homes where embers can smolder several days before burning, Giomi said. Power is out in the area and residents were warned to be aware of their surroundings and leave as quickly as possible after checking on their properties.

At the earliest if everything settles out, those residents might be able to go back home to stay Sunday.

Besides the fires in Alaska, the Waterfall Fire is the nation’s highest priority, Martin said.

There are nearly 1,200 firefighters working the blaze.

The fight will continue to focus on air retardant and water drops, officials said Friday morning. Five heavy helicopters, two medium and two light helicopters are fighting the fire. Four single engine air tankers and three heavy tankers are dropping retardant.

“I can tell you that this is far and away the worst fire I’ve ever seen,” Giomi told residents at a town hall meeting.

Humidity continues in the single digits today, allowing the winds to start spot fires as far as half a mile ahead of itself.

“You would literally have needed 1/2 mile of bare land or pavement to stop it,” Giomi said.

The area expects gusty westerly winds again late this afternoon with low relative humidity at 8 to 12 percent and temperatures near 88. Winds will vary from 5 – 8 mph though noon then southwest 7 – 10 mph with gusts to 25 mph.

For fire information, call 887-2100 or 841-2975.

Contact Jill Lufrano at jlufrano@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.