King fire burn now listed at 87,592 acres

The King fire grew 5,000 acres overnight as it continued to send smoke into mountain communities, including as low as Auburn.

The total acreage burned was listed Monday morning at 87,592 acres. Containment of the fire grew just one percentage point overnight to 18 percent.

There are now 5,400 firefighting personnel battling the blaze from across the state and the nation. State officials are strengthening resources before the fire tries to take off again.

“We really are doing all we can to beat back this blaze,” said Calfire spokesman Daniel Berlant. “There are still 12,000 homes threatened. Even though this fire has not grown at the same speed that it did the past week, there is still a lot of threat. The winds could pick up. The conditions remain dry. So, we are not becoming complacent.”

The fire, more than a week old, began in El Dorado County near Pollock Pines, but has spread into neighboring Placer County. The blaze continues to burn in steep terrain in the south fork of the American River Canyon, Silver Creek Canyon and Rubicon Canyon.

The fire has crossed into Placer County, burning timber in the Tahoe National Forest.

Highway 50 was open Monday morning but the area of the King fire remains closed for safety reasons, according to Calfire.

Two community meetings, both at 7 p.m. Monday, are scheduled to inform the public about the fire. They will be held at Golden Sierra High School, 5105 Garden Valley Road in Garden Valley and at the Camino 7th-day Adventist Church, 3520 Carson Road.

The number of dwellings burned remained at 10 residences. A smoke advisory has been issued for the Lake Tahoe area by the National Weather Service.

Officials believe that Wayne Huntsman, 37, of Pollock Pines set the fire that has raged out of control up and down steep timbered hillsides. Huntsman has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

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