North Fire in Tahoe National Forest prompts evacuations, closure of two I-80 offramps

A half-dozen campgrounds have been evacuated as firefighters continue containment efforts on a wildfire that ignited Monday in the Tahoe National Forest near Emigrant Gap, officials said Tuesday afternoon.

The North Fire was at 700 acres with 10 percent containment as of 7:45 p.m., Tahoe National Forest officials said.

Campgrounds and rural homes were the focus of evacuations Monday evening. Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Andrew Scott said the Onion Valley, North Fork, Tunnel Mills, Lodge Pole, Silver Tip and Sunflower campgrounds had all been fully evacuated by Tuesday morning.

Those campground areas remain closed, but no other evacuation orders were active as of Tuesday, he said.

The U.S. Forest Service, with aid from Cal Fire and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, continued work on the North Fire through the night. By Tuesday evening, eight crews and seven helicopters were still battling the fire, which ignited near the North Fork Campground at about 2:30 p.m..

Caltrans tweeted Tuesday morning that Emigrant Gap and Yuba Gap offramps on I-80 remain closed due to the fire. Crystal Valley Road at Lake Valley Road was also closed as of Tuesday morning, Scott said.

The North Fire, combined with the holiday weekend, created “major delays” Monday on I-80, Caltrans said in a tweet.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Cal Fire has served in a support role in fighting the North Fire.

“If it does … become state responsibility, we will certainly respond,” Cal Fire spokeswoman Mary Eldridge said Monday.

National Weather Service forecasts predict light winds in the region Tuesday, with high temperatures in the low- to mid-80s through the weekend.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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