King Fire almost triples in size

The King Fire west of Lake Tahoe in California grew from 18,544 acres to 70,944 acres on Wednesday, almost tripling in size in 24 hours, running for 16 miles through the El Dorado National Forest. It is now between Hell Hole and French Meadows Reservoirs in Placer County, 12 miles from Olympic Valley, 13 miles from the west shore of Lake Tahoe, and 20 miles from Truckee.

Map King Fire
Map of the King Fire. The red line is the perimeter just after midnight early Thursday morning, 9-18-2014. The yellow line is from about 24 hours before. (click to enlarge)

Evacuations have affected 2,155 people.

The fire is being fought by 3,700 personnel. Last year the 257,000-acre Rim Fire at Yosemite National Park had over 5,000 people assigned — this fire may come close to that personnel figure, especially if it continues to add over 50,000 acres a day.

Smoke from the fire is affecting air quality in Boise, Idaho this morning. We have a map showing the distribution of smoke across the western United States as of Thursday morning.

Below is a report from the incident management team describing fire activity Wednesday night:

The fire continued to burn actively throughout the night. However: due to the day’s extreme fire behavior, steep terrain, inaccessibility, variable wind direction, and darkness it was unsafe to approach the north portion of the fire to directly observe the fire behavior. [Through] field observations and Infrared imagery it was determined that the fire made a run of over ten miles to the north between the hours of 1600 and 0600. Spot fires were observed up to three miles ahead of the main fire front.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.