The Tamarack Fire is more than 23,000 acres as of Monday, July 19. It is burning timber and many other fuels in the mountains surrounding Markleeville, California. Weather and smoky skies grounded aerial support on the fire over the weekend. Helicopters were able to drop water on the fire on Monday.
“The last couple days, our efforts have been hampered for aerial resources due to the smoke conditions and the weather,” Jesse Carpenter, Public Information Officer for Great Basin Team 3 said.
Lightning sparked the fire July 4 but since it was in a remote area and resources were spread thin at other fires. Friday’s winds and the terrain caused the fire to explode in size. Until then, crews had monitored the fire instead of attacking it. That is because it wasn’t a high priority as other fires in the west. 23 fires were burning simultaneously.