A wildfire has destroyed 165 homes and has burned over 750 acres southwest of Lake Tahoe, California a spokesman for the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department said on Sunday according to MSNBC.
Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin House said that the first is less than 5 percent contained and has more than 500 homes in its possible path. No injuries or deaths have been reported yet. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
“This thing is raging out of control, and there’s no estimate as to when that may change,” House said according to MSNBC.
He also says that the El Dorado Board of Supervisors has issued a declaration of emergency.
High winds have made it much harder to control the wildfire. Hundreds of homes in the fires path have been evacuated.
“I can’t stay on the phone. We just got a notice to evacuate,” Gloria Hildinger of the Angora Lakes Resort said according to MSNBC. “The smoke is getting pretty thick. It’s probably two miles away, and we’re hoping it won’t reach here.”
Winds as high as 25 mph have helped the wildfire spread rapidly and the National Weather Service has said that winds up to 35 mph are possible.
“They’re definitely having problems with the winds up there,” said Linda Curran of the Camino Interagency Dispatch Center according to MSNBC. “The fire has a rapid rate of spread because of the winds.”
So far at least five air tankers and two helicopters have been assisting the more than 400 firefighters on the ground in the fight against the fire.
The fire was first reported Sunday afternoon on Forest Service land and is believed to have been caused by human activity. The smoke plume from the fire could be seen for miles.
This wildfire comes at the beginning of what is thought to be a very active wildfire season in the Sierra Nevada region following a very dry winter.
Earlier this month, a fire in the eastern Sierra area of Colesville forced evacuations and there have also been other wildfires reported in the region already this season.
There has also been a wildfire in Alaska that has threatened hundreds of homes on the Kenai Peninsula. The fire is still going and has spread to 81 square miles since Tuesday and has destroyed 35 cabins already and is said to threaten 600 more.
“We’re over the point of worry, and there’s nothing we can do about it right now,” Evenson said. “The sad part about losing all the cabins is it’s a good place to take the family.”
MSNBC, Emergency declared as fire nears Lake Tahoe, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19406288/