Crews are demobilizing from the King Fire just west of Lake Tahoe as they transition from suppression to rehabilitation, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal.
The fire that gave the Truckee Meadows its worst air pollution since last year’s Rim Fire had burned more than 97,000 acres, but there were only more than 5,863 firefighters and support staff on the fire, down from a peak of just over 8,000 earlier this week, according to Cal Fire Saturday evening and King Fire public information officer Michael Williams.
There was four-tenths of an inch of rain Friday night in the fire area. That follows rain on Thursday night, Williams said. And they expect another half inch to an inch of rain on the fire by Monday. It was 84 percent contained at about 6:15 p.m.
“The fire is still not out by any means,” Williams cautioned. There will be parts of the fire on the interior that will be burning at least until the first snow falls, he said. And by the middle of next week when warmer temperatures and winds return, it could put up smoke that ends up in the Reno area.
“With that said, there’s not a whole lot of likelihood that this fire is going to go anywhere any time soon,” Williams said. “We’re not going to get any smoke out of this in the next few days.”
The King Fire pushed air quality into the range of unhealthy for everyone several times in the last weeek. But on Saturday morning, the Truckee Meadows air quality was good with ozone registering higher than the fine particles that are elevated by wildfire smoke.
The fire destroyed about a dozen homes near the town of Pollock Pines in El Dorado County. Nearly 300 structures remained threatened, down dramatically from about 21,000 earlier this week.
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