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I-80 Near Truckee Reopens After Wildfire Closure

TRUCKEE (CBS SF & AP) -- The California Highway Patrol announced Tuesday afternoon that a stretch of I-80 that was closed by a wildfire since morning has now reopened in both directions.

Authorities with the Truckee division of the CHP tweeted the update at about 2:35 p.m.


Shortly before 3 p.m., they announced that the freeway was open in both directions, though westbound I-80 would only have the left lane reopened.

CHP said they would provide the escorts from State Route 267 to the California-Nevada state line to allow equipment to cross the highway.

Authorities said drivers should keep in mind that the summit was still an active fire zone.

Tuesday morning, I-80 westbound was shut down at about 7 a.m. at the Nevada State Line due to spot fires and issues with debris. I-80 eastbound was closed at 7:30 a.m. at State Route 267 so fire crews could get equipment into the area.

Mount Rose Highway was the suggested alternate route for travelers.

The California Highway Patrol initially reported Monday evening that I-80 east was closed at Highway 267 at Truckee and I-80 west was closed at Gold Ranch.

The Farad Fire ignited around 1 p.m. Monday near the state line, about 12 miles northeast of Truckee. Cal Fire said the wildfire has scorched about 600 acres and was just 5 percent contained.

"The fire is an unpredictable situation," said Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore. "We are urging the public to please avoid the I-80 area if possible and to remain vigilant and prepared."

Smoke from a wildfire that has closed a 25-mile stretch of Interstate 80 near the Nevada-California line has triggered an air quality warning in the Reno-Sparks area.

The Washoe County Health District said Tuesday that young children, the elderly and people with lung disease or asthma should avoid any extended outdoor activity.

The Sierra Front Interagency Fire Center says no evacuations have been ordered but seven structures currently are threatened and fire crews in the Reno-area remain on alert in case the winds push the flames toward the city.

Trucks were lined up for 3 miles along the shoulder of westbound I-80 where the interstate is closed at the California-Nevada line. California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Peter Mann did not know when the highway winding north of Lake Tahoe would be reopened.

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