Sierra wildfire forces evacuation

first_imgCOLEVILLE – Winds gusting up to 65 mph fanned a Sierra wildfire that forced the evacuation Tuesday of up to 200 people near the California-Nevada line and the closure of a 40-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 395. With airtankers grounded in the sustained winds of 40 mph, the fire tripled in size from an estimated 200 acres to more than 600 acres along the Sierra’s eastern front by Tuesday evening, said Mark Struble, a spokesman for the Sierra Front Interagency Fire Dispatch Center. About 50 homes in Mono County between Coleville and Walker were immediately threatened and another 150 structures were in the area of the fire burning primarily in grass, sagebrush and scrub pine about 45 miles south of Carson City, Nev., he said. “It is growing. We don’t know exactly what direction it is heading,” Struble told The Associated Press. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The winds are really swirling,” he said, adding that the forecast called for sustained winds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph overnight. No damage to homes or injuries had been reported but the fire did burn over some equipment at a temporary firefighter camp behind Coleville High School, including a refrigerated storage until and several portable toilets, Struble said. More than 225 firefighters were battling the fire along with at least 14 fire engines, three water tenders and a bulldozer, Struble said.last_img read more