The looming threat of dry lighting and strong winds over the weekend has lead firefighters to strengthen containment measures around the Washington Fire area.
Lighting ignited a fire three miles south of Markleeville on June 19. As of early Saturday, the fire has burned through 17,622 acres, an increase of roughly 1,000 acres since Wednesday. Containment of the fire has jumped from 15 percent on Thursday to 29 percent last night.
Firefighters are concerned weather conditions over the next few days could hinder the containment, according to a report from the U.S. Forest Service.
Weather forecasters at the National Weather Services issued a Red Flag warning for low-humidity thunderstorms in effect through next week. Dry lighting could ignite more fires in the area, and gusty winds increase the chances of fire spreading, according to NWS forecasters.
The fire managers main concern is keeping the fire from spreading to Markleeville, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The fire lines are being strengthened near Markleeville, while burning materials close to the fire perimeter being extinguished. The fire is about 20 miles west of the Nevada border.