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Updated: Washington Fire Over 16,500 acres

Updated at 4:20pm: The section of highway 89 from Woodford’s junction is and has been open to the south end of Markleeville. The incident team clarifies: the section that remains closed begins at the south end of Markleeville. The Washington fire is the 7th largest in the nation currently, the largest is in Florida, there are three larger fires in Alaska, and one in Arizona. All of the fires, including the Washington Fire, were started by lightning.

Updated at 9:20am: The large wildfire in Alpine County is now 16,544 acres. Public Information Officer Withanee Anderson reports that there is now no containment on the Washington Fire. Yesterday there was 10% containment. Wind has been hampering the firefighting efforts. There are eight helicopters, eight air tankers and two DC-10 aircraft. Around 500 firefighters are assigned to the incident. Stretches of Highway 4 Ebbetts Pass and Highway 89 Monitor Pass are closed.

Original Story at 7:55am: Markleeville, CA — The Washington Fire in Alpine County is now up to 14,942 acres.

It’s still only about 10 percent contained. Resources are being staged primarily on the northwest flank of the fire in order to protect the town of Markleeville. Residents have been advised to prepared to evacuate if the need arises. A larger type II incident management team took over operations yesterday. 500 firefighters are on scene. High winds are creating havoc with the drought conditions. The fire was started by lightning. Portions of Highway 4 Ebbetts Pass and Highway 89 Monitor Pass are closed.