WOODFORDS, Calif. — Firefighters handicapped by winds of up to 15 m.p.h. and 20% humidity struggled Friday to contain a 3,400-acre blaze on the timbered east slope of the Sierra Nevada south of Lake Tahoe.
The battle was nearly won by late Friday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service said.
About 1,200 firefighters had contained 60% of the blaze by midday but found the going slow in the rugged Toiyabe National Forest, said Cece Stewart, a forest service spokeswoman.
"The fire alert is high to extreme so anything could happen at this point," she said. "Some of the trees are torching out--like an explosion where they burst into flame. And there's crowning, when the fire takes to the tree tops."
No injuries were reported, although a 50-year-old schoolhouse in the Alpine County town of Fredericksburg was destroyed along with several ranch outbuildings.