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Meeks Fire sparked after tree fell on powerlines, Cal Fire says | Update

The Meeks Fire is 100% contained, according to Cal Fire.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — June 10, 9 p.m. update:

The Meeks Fire is 100% contained, according to Cal Fire.

June 10, 8 a.m. update:

The so-called Meeks Fire that burned through the night near Lake Tahoe was caused by a tree hitting a powerline, Cal Fire said. The wildfire spread quickly due to gusty winds. 

Cal Fire is also now reporting that the fire is 90% contained after fire crews worked through the night to put out the blaze on the west side of Lake Tahoe.

Fire crews will continue to be in the area on Thursday to "mop up hotspots and patrol for lingering smokes throughout the day."

Original story: 

Firefighters have halted forward progress on a small wildfire that flared up on the west side of Lake Tahoe, Wednesday afternoon.

The so-called Meeks Fire forced law enforcement to shut down a section of Highway 89 from 3 Ring Road to DL Bliss State Park, while firefighters work to get a handle on the fire. The highway was reopened around 5 p.m.

According to a 4 p.m. update from the North Tahoe Fire Department, the Meeks Fire had grown to about three acres in size. The fire was fueled by high winds, officials said.

Firefighters attacked the flames with air drops and full ground support. Crews are expected to remain on scene for several hours to strengthen control lines and mop up hotspots, fire officials said. As of 5:30 p.m., the fire was 50% contained, according to Cal Fire AEU.

No homes were threatened, but authorities implemented a voluntary evacuation order for those living in the area.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

WHO TO FOLLOW:

WILDFIRE PREPS

According to Cal Fire, 2020 was one of the most severe fire seasons on record as 9,917 wildfires burned 4.2 million acres. Over 9,000 structures were destroyed, and 31 people (civilians and firefighters) were killed. 

California also experienced its first "Gigafire" because of the August Complex Fire, burning over 1 million acres by itself. Four of California's top five largest wildfires in state history happened in 2020. 

If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.

The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and know your community’s evacuation plans best to prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.

Some counties use Nixle alerts to update residents on severe weather, wildfires, and other news. To sign up, visit www.nixle.com or text your zip code to 888777 to start receiving alerts. 

PG&E customers can also subscribe to alerts via text, email, or phone call. If you're a PG&E customer, visit the Profile & Alerts section of your account to register.

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