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Fire destroys 5 homes near Tahoe

August 19, 2007|From the Associated Press

TAHOE CITY, Calif. -- A house fire sparked a blaze Saturday on Lake Tahoe's west shore, destroying five houses and forcing evacuations of some homes and businesses, authorities said.

Placer County sheriff's deputies said the wind-whipped, 15-acre blaze began near the resort community of Sunnyside just south of Tahoe City. No injuries were reported.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Barbara Rebiskie said five homes and one outbuilding had been destroyed.

The fire appeared to be slowing Saturday evening, and most of those evacuated were returning to their homes, Rebiskie said.

"It's looking pretty good. They're doing a good job out there," she said.

Firefighters expect to have the fire contained at about 35 acres.

The Washoe Way house where the fire started was fully engulfed when crews arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m. and the flames spread to nearby structures, causing the evacuation of an unknown number of homes and businesses, deputies said.

Flames were being fanned by wind gusts of up to 30 mph, and the National Weather Service was calling for similar gusts through midnight Saturday.

The blaze is about 20 miles north of South Lake Tahoe, where a wildfire that began June 24 destroyed 254 homes and charred more than 3,000 acres. It took firefighters eight days to contain the fire, at a cost of $12.1 million.

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