Angora Fire in Lake Tahoe Now 40% Contained - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Angora Fire in Lake Tahoe Now 40% Contained

Kellene Stockwell
Channel 2 News

Starting Tuesday at 8am, residents from U.S. Highway 50 to Wintoon with proper ID will be allowed to access their property via Upper North Truckee and Highway 50. Residents from Wintoon to Sawmill Road should call 530-541-4660 ext. 336 for help.  

The state of California declared a state of emergency Monday morning near where the 2,730 acre Angora Fire is burning.

The disaster declaration signed by Lt. Gov John Garamendi makes portions of El Dorado County eligible for immediate state aid; it's the first step in requesting emergency federal help. (The governor is on a trip in Europe).

Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons toured the area Monday afternoon. Gibbons says wants to show Californians that Nevada will step up to help our neighbors with resources like firefighting equipment and the manpower to help get the Angora Fire under control.

El Dorado County officials say 173 structures suffered total or major loss, nine were categorized as moderate while 17 suffered minor damage. "There's so many trees up there, that we haven't been able to cut, and the houses are one top of the other. The trees are spreading the fire from one end to one. You can see it's like dominoes up there," says resident Jordan Morganstern.

Burned homes are in the areas of Mt. Diablo, Mt. Ranier, Zuni Drive, Angora Creek, Shoshone, Clear View, View Circle, Coyote Ridge, Boulder Mountain, Snow Mountain, Mt. Olympia Circle, Brush Road, Granite Mountain, Iron Mountain, Eagle Lane, Mule Deer and Pyramid Circles among others.

About 250-500 additional structures remain threatened. "A big old house started exploding on me and parts went flying by me. I jumped on my bike, turned around and got out of there as quick as I could. I mean I felt like I was in an Arnold (Schwarzenegger) movie," says Ron Abrams whose house was burned.

About 1800 firefighters are currently attacking the wind-whipped blaze (150 firefighters are from Nevada) along with 22 strike teams, ten task forces and nine helicopters. Crews have aircraft available, but thick smoke is hampering their efforts. A Type 1 Command is being called in to help.

The blaze started Sunday at 1:30pm near the Upper Truckee Road near the Tahoe Paradise Subdivision on forest land. Authorities say it's man-made but cannot elaborate anymore until an investigation is complete.

A massive plume of growing grey, white and black smoke could be seen for at least 160 miles as far east as Fallon.  

A health advisory has been issued for the area. For more information, call the El Dorado County Health Department at 530-621-6172. You can also read the link to the left of this page.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 1,000 people remain evacuated from their homes.

Gardner Mountain remains under an advisory evacuation order right now.

An evacuation center remains set up at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center located at 1180 Rufus Allen Boulevard. Rec officials say they have cots and food for all the evacuees, but they say they need blankets and clothes for the people there. For more information, you can call 530-542-6056.

An evacuation checklist link is also set up on the left of this page.

Many evacuees are also staying free at several area hotels including the Inn at Heavenly, Value Inn, Montgomery Inn, Super 8 among others.  

Affected senior citizens can go to the Sierra Place Retirement and Assisted Living Community located at 1111 West College Parkway in Carson City. Free accommodations will be available for at least one week.

El Dorado County Animal Control officers are assisting with any animal evacuations. They're also patrolling the area in search of lost animals. Animals that are collected will be taken to the County Animal Control Shelter at 1120 Shakori Drive in South Lake.

If you have been evacuated and have pets that need to be sheltered, call the Pet Network Animal Friends. The Incline Village-based group is taking in dogs, cats and other small animals. Their number is 775-832-4404.

Evacuees that need information about sheltering or retrieving pets can call 530-577-1776. 

If you see injured wildlife that needs help, call Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care at 530-577-2273. One woman we talked with said she saw a black bear running down the street with a pack of coyotes close behind.

U.S. Highway 50 has reopened to traffic in both directions while U.S. Highways 88 & 89 are open only right now for emergency vehicles

To see live, streaming video of the fire from Caltrans, go to then scroll down to the "Lake Tahoe Area" section and then click on the "50 at Myers" camera. 

No injuries have been reported, although two fire trucks have burned.

Temporary flight restrictions are in place at Lake Tahoe Airport for five nautical miles for emergency aircraft only.

A public meeting for homeowners is being held Monday at 8pm at the South Lake Tahoe Middle School Multi-Purpose Room located at 2940 Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

The U.S. Forest Service has a hotline set up for homeowners to call if they have concerns - 530-543-2694. If that line is busy, a recorded message can be accessed at 530-543-2600. The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office can be reached at 530-541-4660 ext. 336.

A disaster center will be set up for the next two weeks at the South Lake Tahoe Community College Cafeteria. Disaster centers are a place where disaster victims can meet various government agencies to report their losses and find help in recovering. Participating agencies include Red Cross, State DMV-Disaster Assistance Programs, Human Services, and County Building / Permits. Reporting Property and economic losses will help with our application for a presidential declaration that can bring additional FEMA assistance programs for individuals and businesses. It will take place Tuesday through Saturday 10am-7pm.

Affected AAA Nevada customers can begin filing claims immediately the company announced Monday. Just call 800-922-8228 for more information. For members who are unable to return to their homes, claims assistance is available at the AAA office in South Lake Tahoe at 1012 Al Tahoe Boulevard.  

Channel 2 News will have live team coverage on the Angora Fire at 5pm, 6:30pm and 11pm.

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