(8:30 a.m. update from incident command) The U.S. Forest Service says the Kyburz fire is now about 40 percent contained, and that there are 500 firefighters fighting the flames in the El Dorado National Forest. Four helicopters are assisting the effort, and two air tankers are on standby. Officials upgraded the seriousness of the situation overnight,to a "Type 2" incident, opting to bring in people with more experience to manage the fire, and set up a camp. The fire ignited yesterday afternoon, after the CHP says a truck’s wheel came off, causing some sparks to spread to the dry brush. Highway 50 was shut down in both directions
for hours, but is now re-open to controlled traffic. The area where the fire is
burning is mostly timber and brush – with some steep terrain, but one summer
camp was evacuated in Placerville
(11:00 p.m. update) The U.S. Forest Service now says the Kyburz Fire has burned 160 acres. As of 10 p.m. it was zero percent contained, although one-way traffic as been restored on Highway 50.
(7:15 update from CalTrans via Twitter) US 50 at Sly Park and Meyers under one-way traffic control from Alder Creek to Sand Flat. Due to fire, use caution traveling in closure area.
(5:30 p.m.) State fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said the blaze near the mountain community of Kyburz forced officials to shut down Highway 50 in both directions in El Dorado County. Kyburz is about 30 miles west of the California-Nevada state line, south of Lake Tahoe.
According to an incident report, the fire began about a half mile east off the highway just before 1 p.m. Monday in the El Dorado National Forest.
(4:00 p.m. update) US Fire Service tweeted: Kyburz Fire on the Eldorado National Forest, 40-50 acres, 8 air tankers and 5 helicopters assigned to the fire.
Caltrans tweeted: Eastbound traffic is being held at Sly Park Road in Pollock Pines. Westbound traffic is being held in the town of Meyers just west of South Lake Tahoe.
Westbound Highway 50 traffic in Meyers is now being diverted onto Highway 88 due to forest fire. Still no ETO.
The fire started in a rural section of the highway between White Hall and Kyburz. It is spreading east. The CHP is reporting that the fire started when a vehicle blew a tire.
There are no other detours in place yet and no estimated time when the highway will reopen.
Follow Caltrans on Twitter @D3PIO for the latest updates.