Fire near Coleville expected to reach containment today |

Fire near Coleville expected to reach containment today

Samantha Fredrickson, Appeal Staff Writer

The Silver II fire, which continues to burn six miles northwest of Coleville, is expected to reach full containment today.

The fire has charred 600 acres along the border of Alpine and Mono counties since it began Saturday.

Growth of the fire has been slow, and fire information officer Mark Struble said it was not as bad as the previous fires which have wreaked havoc on the area this summer.

It was two weeks ago when the Gate Complex fire threatened the Topaz Lodge and forced Highway 395 to close. The Silver II fire is burning just west of the 9,866 charred acres from that fire and northwest of the Cannon Fire, which burned 22,750 acres last month.

“The winds have not been what we experienced a couple of weeks ago,” Struble said.

He described the winds from the previous Slinkard fire, part of the Gate Complex fire, as being “a blowtorch.”

Although the winds were slightly higher Tuesday, Struble said firefighters were able to get a hold on the fire.

Other reasons why the fire has been a smaller is because it is burning in different vegetation and is at a higher altitude, he said.

The fire is between 8,000 and 9,000 feet and is not threatening roads or structures.

The only injury has been one firefighter who complained of a stomach ache Tuesday. He was flown to Carson-Tahoe Hospital for treatment and is now back at work, Struble said.

There were 170 firefighters on the scene last night, but Struble said many will be leaving today.

“Our troops are needed elsewhere,” Struble said.

He said most of the firefighters would go to Oregon to battle larger wildfires.

Complete control of the fire is expected by Thursday, and Struble said the Bureau of Land Management is expected to take control then.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The cost of the fire thus far is $702,000.