NOTE - Barring a significant change in conditions, this is our final Web update of the Washington Fire. The latest U.S. Forest Service InciWeb Update is linked above.
5:50 p.m. - Fire officials report State Highways 4 and 89 have reopened, along with all campgrounds in the area of the Washington Fire, which has consumed 17,787 acres since it started June 17 as the result of a lightning strike.
The fire is 56 percent contained and there are 860 personnel assigned to the incident.
- CapRadio Staff
The U.S. Forest Service InciWeb incident report states:
With cooler temperatures and an increase in humidity over the past 24 hours, firefighters were able to make good progress on line construction, increasing the containment to 56 percent.
During the day, fire crews continued to construct direct fire line on northern and southern portions of the fire while crews assigned to the eastern and western side continued to mop up and extinguish any hot spots that they encountered. As fire containment increases, fire crews and apparatus will continue to be released back to their home fire stations to prepare for potential new fires. This is reflected in the reduction in personnel from 1,111 yesterday to 860 today.
Fire weather forecasters have predicted cooler temperatures today with a chance of thunderstorms accompanied by intermittent rain showers over the fire area. Firefighters will continue to take advantage of the favorable weather to complete direct hand line on the southern fire perimeter while firefighters assigned to the Markleeville area will continue to mop up and rehabilitate the fire line constructed earlier in the incident. The structure engines assigned to Markleeville completed their last shift yesterday and will begin the demobilization process today.
Road and Area Closures:
All state highways through the fire are currently open to through traffic. This includes State Highway 4 over Ebbetts Pass and State Highway 89, east over Monitor Pass to Highway 395. The fire area is still under a Forest Service closure and is not accessible to the general public; however, both the BLM area closure and the Indian Creek Campground closure were lifted at 8:00 am today.
Law enforcement will continue patrolling the fire area and will issue citations to non-fire individuals found in the closure area. The public is encouraged to use caution when traveling on State Highways 4 and 89 as fire crews will continue to be active along the roadways throughout the fire area.
An area closure is still in effect for the fire area and can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/htnf/alerts-notices.