Washington fire: Voluntary evacuation warning for Markleeville | NevadaAppeal.com

Washington fire: Voluntary evacuation warning for Markleeville

Record-Courier staff report
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, left, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, right, talk with Cal Fire Capt. Chris Guidice, left, and Firefighter Brandon White in Markleeville, Ca. on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. The lightning-caused Washington fire has grown to nearly 17,000 acres since Friday. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
AP | FR70203 AP


The Washington Fire is named after the Lady Washington Mine was on a 1-4 foot vein in volcanic rock which has yielded some minor amounts of gold and silver. It was active 1860 to 1870 when ore was treated in a 10-stamp mill. Developed with several adits and drifts.

Source: Mines and Mineral Resources of Alpine County.


Stay indoors with windows and doors closed; run air-conditioner on “recirculate” setting. Keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Minimize the use of swamp coolers. If it becomes too warm indoors, individuals may consider leaving the area to seek alternative shelter.

Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.

Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease, Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen. If you evacuate, make sure you take all essential medications along with you.

Do not rely on dust masks or N95 respirators for protection. If you wish to wear something, use a wet handkerchief or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. The key – keep it moist.

When driving make sure to drive with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on “recirculate.”

Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise, during smoky conditions.

People who must spend time outdoors should drink plenty of fluids.

Additionally, pet owners should consider bringing their pets indoors out of the unhealthy air conditions, if possible. This is especially important for older pets.

Stay tuned to local radio and TV for emergency announcements about air quality.

Source: Carson City Health and Human Services

Containment went up to 15 percent, and acreage went down, on the Washington Fire burning near Markleeville in Alpine County.

According to the latest update, the fire acreage was revised to 16,490 acres, according to the Thursday evening update.

The fire size was determined by more accurate mapping.

No buildings have been damaged, but Markleeville is under a voluntary evacuation warning, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Several campgrounds were evacuated earlier in the week, and two highways have been closed.

About 900 firefighters are battling the blaze. The fire is partially contained.

The fire was started by a lightning strike earlier this month that didn’t start to show itself until 7 p.m. Friday. By Saturday evening, high winds drove the fire into a frenzy, causing it to quadruple in size and then quintuple.

Highway 89 from Highway 395 over Monitor Pass to the junction with Highway 4 is closed. Highway 4 is closed from Markleeville to Ebbetts Pass.

Indian Creek and Turtle Rock campground are closed. However, the Pacific Crest Trail remains open.

While crews continue to fight the Washington fire, a red flag warning has been issued for 1-9 p.m. Saturday for thunderstorms and strong winds.

The National Weather Service announced thunderstorms and high temperatures are expected to arrive this weekend.

A fire weather watch is in place from Saturday evening through Sunday.

Smoke from the fire continues to spread a haze to Carson City and Carson Valley. The air quality in Carson City was unhealthy in the morning hours, but was good by mid-afternoon.