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Kyburz Fire: One-Lane Of Metered Traffic Opens On Highway 50

Caltrans District 3 via Twitter

A firefighter works just beyond the Highway 50 guard rail on the Kyburz Fire in Eldorado County, Friday, July 24, 2015.

Caltrans District 3 via Twitter


10:50 p.m. - One lane of metered traffic started flowing on U.S. Highway 50 just before 6 p.m. Friday, as crews continue to make progress on the Kyburz Fire, which has burned 200 acres in the Eldorado National Forest, straddling the roadway.

Motorists waited in line to follow a pilot vehicle in alternating directions, while others found alternate routes to drive to or from the South Lake Tahoe area.

Traffic is metered at Sly Park road in Pollock Pines and at Meyers. Traffic will be escorted through the fire area alternating east and west bound traffic.

Fire officials say mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted. A voluntary evacuation order is in place for Sand Flat campground east to Strawberry.

Evacuation Center: Pollock Pines Community Center - 2675 Sanders Drive, Pollock Pines, Ca 95726
530-647-8005

 

-Capital Public Radio staff


5:30 p.m. - One lane of U.S. Highway 50 is scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. according to Eldorado National Forest officials.

The Incident Report states: "Highway 50 will reopen to one lane metered and escorted traffic. East bound traffic will be metered from Sly Park to Myers and escorted from Elder Bridge through the fire area. West bound traffic will be escorted from Sand Flat through the Fire area."

-Capital Public Radio staff


3:54 p.m. -- As the Kyburz Fire continues to burn in El Dorado County, officials from Caltrans are recommending that motorists use Interstate 80 if they're heading to Truckee and the Lake Tahoe area. 

Caltrans released the following statement:

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is alerting motorists that Highway 50 continues to be closed from Sly Park Road in Pollock Pines to Meyers due to a vegetation fire in the American River canyon west of Kyburz.  Motorists traveling to the Lake Tahoe Basin area are being directed to use Interstate 80 to Truckee and Highway 89 South to access all areas of the Lake Tahoe basin due to significant traffic delays on the Highway 49 and Highway 88 detours. 

The U.S. Forest Service, assisted by CalFire and Caltrans crews, is identifying and removing trees in the fire-damaged area of Highway 50 that could pose a danger to the traveling public. A re-assessment of highway safety will be undertaken late today to determine whether Highway 50 can be opened to controlled traffic. Information on fire conditions can be obtained online at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4408/.

9:13 a.m. - Highway 50 is still closed between Pollock Pines and Meyers because of the Kyburz Fire. The blaze has scorched 200 acres. Containment is at 30 percent.

Kristi Schroeder, with the U.S. Forest Service, says they've been using the new "Super Scooper" aircraft that can scoop water out of Lake Tahoe and dump it on fires.

"That's been quite helpful," says Schroeder. "It's dropped 1,600 gallons at a shot. So that combined with our tankers, our helicopters and our ground crews has allowed us to get a handle on this fire."

Officials say the blaze was started by a vehicle fire.

-Capital Public Radio Staff

0724 Kyburz Fire


8:22 a.m. - Firefighters are getting a better handle on the Kyburz Fire, which has burned 200 acres in the El Dorado National Forest. Containment is now at 30 percent. 

"They made really good progress overnight," says Kristi Schroeder with the U.S. Forest Service. "They have a line around the top of the fire and that'll be reinforced today."

She points out that the fire has prompted authorities to keep Highway 50 closed between Pollack Pines and Meyers.

"Safety is our primary concern on the fire both for the firefighters and for the public," says Schroeder. "And that's governing our decision on when we open Highway 50."

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office says the fire was started by a vehicle fire.

Detour information from the U.S. Forest Service:

Highway 50 is closed east of Sly Park road and west of Meyers. Detour is south on Sly Park road 5 miles to Mormon Emigrant Trail (Iron Mountain road) to Highway 88. Note: People's GPS is rerouting them Sly Park to Park Creek road which will lead back into closure area. Do not go that way. Big trucks should take Highway 49 south to Jackson and east on Highway 88 to Highway 89 north to Lake Tahoe.

-Capital Public Radio Staff


8:06 a.m. - Officials say the Kyburz Fire has grown to 200 acres, but is now 30 percent contained. 

Highway 50 from Pollock Pines to Meyers remains closed and evacuations are still in effect. 

Detour information from the U.S. Forest Service:

Highway 50 is closed east of Sly Park road and west of Meyers. Detour is south on Sly Park road 5 miles to Mormon Emigrant Trail (Iron Mountain road) to Highway 88. Note: People's GPS is rerouting them Sly Park to Park Creek road which will lead back into closure area. Do not go that way. Big trucks should take Highway 49 south to Jackson and east on Highway 88 to Highway 89 north to Lake Tahoe.

-Capital Public Radio Staff


7:32 a.m. - Highway 50 from Pollock Pines to Meyers remains closed as a wildfire continues to burn in the El Dorado National Forest. Officials are urging motorists Friday morning to use alternate routes if traveling through the area. 

The Kyburz Fire has scorched 100 acres and is 5 percent contained. 

The El Dorado County Sheriff Department says the fire erupted as a result of a vehicle fire at about 2 p.m. Thursday.

Officials describe the blaze as a surface fire that is burning on both sides of Highway 50.

Bus routes between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe are operating on a detour route, but there will be no stops in Placerville. 

U.S. Forest Service officials say there are mandatory evacuations from Whitehall to Sand Flat Campground and voluntary evacuations are in place for Kyburz and Strawberry. 

According to Cal Trans, Cal Fire will re-evaluate the closure at Highway 50 at about 10 a.m. Friday.

-Capital Public Radio Staff