Scott Tangenberg, deputy supervisor for the Stanislaus National Forest, said Wednesday the Donnell Fire that broke out more than three and a half months ago has been declared 100 percent contained, due to stormy weather dumping rain and snow on the massive burn area in the high east end of Tuolumne County.
The Forest Service says the Donnell Fire started at 5:49 p.m. Aug. 1.
The Donnell Fire blew up the weekend of Aug. 4 and 5 and destroyed 135 structures, including the iconic Dardanelle Resort main lodge, more than 50 other business buildings, cabins and other residences, and the unused, historic Dardanelle Bridge that used to carry Highway 108 over the Middle Fork Stanislaus River.
The fire also burned more than 57 square miles of mountain watersheds in the Stanislaus National Forest, including portions of the Emigrant Wilderness south of Highway 108 and the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness north of Highway 108. Costs of fighting the fire are estimated at about $36 million. The Forest Service has not calculated a dollar total for private and public property damaged and destroyed by the Donnell Fire.
Thursday, Tangenberg said Forest Service investigators continue to work on the case to determine the cause. They were not available to be interviewed.
“When we get their report,” Tangenberg said, “we will have more information to share.”
Contact Guy McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.