The El Dorado County sheriff’s department says a small plane crashed today near Echo Summit, southwest of Lake Tahoe, starting a wildland fire.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Kevin House says the fire kept emergency crews from quickly reaching the crash site, in the rugged Elbert Lake area about three miles south of Echo Summit, and he had no information on the plane’s passengers.
House says pilots of firefighting aircraft sent to help douse the fire spotted the plane wreckage in the middle of the fire area, but couldn’t make out its identifying numbers.
The first report of the fire came in at about noon. By mid-afternoon, the blaze had covered nearly 100 acres and was being fanned by erratic winds. The blaze, called the Showers fire, wasn’t threatening any structures or roads.
The wild fire is burning in heavy timber in a primitive area south of Echo Summit. Fire managers are concerned about erratic winds in the region.
Because of that, they ordered five air tankers, three helicopters and 14 hand crews to help battle the blaze.