CalFire says it’s already responded to 300 wildfires this year, up from the 50 that would be normal for this time in a typical year. Now the agency is asking landowners to clear defensible space around homes months before they normally would.
Dave Zaski with the North Tahoe Fire Department says people need to be extra careful to avoid causing fires.
“We can’t do anything about lightning," he said. "But the most damaging fires are human caused, like the Rim Fire, where they had a camp ground fire when they shouldn’t have had.”
Zaski said the region has already seen a wild land fire on the Nevada side of the lake. He says that’s unusual because the fire was at an elevation of 7,000 feet.
All highways through the burn area of the Washington Fire have reopened as favorable weather conditions have aided firefighters' construction of containment lines.
UPDATE: Higher humidity, lower temperatures and light rain combined to help firefighters make progress on the Washington Fire Sunday. Containment stood at 45 percent as of Sunday evening.
UPDATE 6:40 P.M. - Firefighters continue to make progress on the Washington Fire. As of late Thursday afternoon, containment stood at 15 percent. Crews remain focused on keeping the fire away from the community of Markleeville.
UPDATED 6:15 P.M. - Cal Fire crews have joined the battle against the Washington Fire in Alpine County. Dry lightning in forecast a worry as fire burns in heavy timber. The fire has grown to more than 17,000 acres, and more crews join the battle.
UPDATED 10:25 p.m. - A blaze near the Sierra Nevada town of Markleeville has burned 16,553 acres and is 5 percent contained. Residents of the Markleeville are under an evacuation advisory. No mandatory evacuations have been ordered.