Lake Tahoe Area Wildland Fire on Kingsbury Grade

Lake Tahoe Area Wildland Fire on Kingsbury Grade
By Jack Freer  |  Posted June 12, 2013  |  Nevada

CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Jack Freer snapped these photos of a growing wildfire along Kingsbury Grade Road in Gardnerville, Nevada, on June 12 at approximately 4:12 p.m. –almost an hour after the fire had started. Freer, a 57-year-old sheriff’s deputy and amateur photographer, says this fire was different from others he has previously witnessed in that it burned “down” the mountain from its starting point at the top of the ridge.

– jccarp, CNN iReport producer

Around 3 p.m. Douglas County Dispatch in Nevada received a call of a wild land fire on the Carson Valley side of Kingsbury Grade. Approximately 1 mile from the top of Kingsbury Summit smoke was seen on the West side of State Route 207.

Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center reports that the fire is between 5 to 10 acres in size in rugged terrain and growing in a northeast direction in strong winds.

Tahoe Douglas, US Forest Service and East Fork Fire Department are currently on scene and the Nevada Highway Patrol has been called to close Kingsbury Grade from the summit to the valley floor.

The summit of Kingsbury Grade, also known as Nevada State Route 207, is approximately 3 miles east of Lake Tahoe.

As of 5 p.m. the fire, now called the King fire, continues to grow and more resources have been requested. The fire is spreading at a moderate rate to the northeast, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Spokesman Sgt. Pat Brooks reports that there are winds estimated to be at 40 to 50 mph. Fire crews are on scene and the fire is in heavy fuel at this time.

Firefighting aircraft are grounded by high winds according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center.

No structures are immediately threatened by the fire. Firefighters are concerned that if the fire continues in the direction it is headed, down slope winds could drive it into Genoa.

Douglas County’s emergency management plan has been implemented and county officials notified of the incident.

Complicating issues is a minor accident at the top of Kingsbury Grade.

At 9 p.m. Mark Struble, information officer for the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center, reported that the King fire was 100-percent contained at 8 p.m.

The fire started on private property but burned mostly land within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (Carson Ranger District) east of Dagget Summit. The Incident Command Post is now at the Sheridan Volunteer Fire Department facility.