Camping Lake Tahoe News and Events Route 50 Route 50

Kyburz Fire Threatens Central Sierra Recreation This Weekend

Kyburz Fire Jumps American River, Closes HWY 50 and causes evacuation of campground

Kyburz CA – The Central Sierra access on HWY 50 from Sacramento is currently closed because of a fire that started yesterday July 23 and is currently burning on both sides of HWY 50 heading east. This fire is located just East of the Kings Fire which burned last year on HWY 50, into the desolation wilderness region.
Of course HWY 50 is a busy road on a normal summer Friday, as people load up for a weekend at Lake Tahoe and in the Central Sierra. HWY 50 providing the only direct route to South Lake Tahoe, Camp Richardson and so much more for residents of Sacramento and the Bay area region.
The Fire has also closed the Sand Flats Campground for the weekend and has made access to the Crystal Basin and Silver Fork area challenging since main access is from HWY 50. Also boats have been cleared from Icehouse Reservoir to prevent conflicts with helicopters getting water for the fire.
Here is a report from Inciweb on the current conditions of this fire and road closures.


Boats have been asked to stay off Icehouse Reservoir, as they may interfere with Helicopters getting water for the fire. Icehouse Reservoir is in the Eldorado National Forest between HWY 50 and Interstate 80.

Incident Overview

The Kyburz fire was reported at approximately 1:58 pm on July 23. Surface fire with isolated torching. Firefighters making good progress. The fire is on both sides of Highway 50 and on the south side of the American River. Crews were able to tie in line around the north side of the fire and will be working on reinforcing that today. The south side of the fire (south of Highway 50) has quite a few dead trees that are causing short range spot fires. Crews worked on structure protection in the 29 and 30 mile summer home tracts overnight. About 90% of the fire is on the north side of the river burning in steep slopes below Weber Mill Road. The west side of the fire has burned into light fuels from the 2013 Kyburz fire. PG&E power-lines have been de-energized between Whitehall and Kyburz. Cooler than normal temperatures and light winds have kept the fire to a low rate of spread.
Boating Closure: Boats have been cleared off of Ice House Reservoir as they are interfering with helicopter water bucket operations. Camping and shoreline use is still allowed.
Fire Information Line hours: 8 am to 10 pm.
Twitter = @EldoradoNF
Road Closure: 8:00 am
Highway 50 is closed east of Sly Park road and west of Meyers. Opening Highway 50 is a priority. The highway will be re-opened one lane with metered traffic once the safety concerns are mitigated. Fire officials will be looking at reopening possibly late afternoon or this evening if fire operations progress well today.
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.
Sand Flat is the only campground closed. The Crystal Basin and Silver Fork areas are still open for camping, however access to these areas is affected by the road closure on Highway 50. Access to the Ice House road area is via Highway 49 to Highway 193 to Georgetown, east on Wentworth Springs road to Ice House road (paved all the way). Access to the Silver Fork area is via Sly Park road to Mormon Emigrant Trail to South Fork road. Fire restrictions are still in effect.
Westside Desolation Wilderness walk-in permits are being issued out of the Placerville Ranger District office at 4260 Eight Mile road, Camino, CA 95709. 530-644-2324.

8:00 am
Mandatory evacuations: Whitehall to Sand Flat Campground.
Voluntary evacuations: Sand Flat to Strawberry
Evacuation Center: Pollock Pines Community Center. 2675 Sanders Drive, Pollock Pines, Ca 95726
Engines = 31
Crews = 6
Water Tenders = 18
Total = 400
Air Resources = Tankers, 3 helicopters


Basic Information

Current as of 7/24/2015, 7:56:41 AM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Thursday July 23rd, 2015 approx. 01:58 PM
Location East of Whitehall and Highway 50
Incident Commander Dave Pereira
Incident Description Wildfire

Current Situation

Total Personnel 350
Size 200 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 30%
Fuels Involved Timber, steep canyon
Significant Events The fire is burning on both sides of the highway. It has jumped across the American river heading east.


About the author

Charlie REC magazine - Charlie Pankey ~ Publisher

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