Tahoe National Forest (TNF) Truckee Battalion 71, Joe Griffin, was the tip of the spear arriving first on-scene, leading the TNF East Zone Truckee and Sierraville Fire resources to the vegetation fire south of Independence Lake off of Holcombs Rd. (County Road 260). The Truckee and Sierraville Fire resources consisting of TNF Engines 61, 62, 371, 73, Patrols 61, 62, 71, 72, the Truckee Hotshots, joined by Tahoe Helitack with Helicopter 514, Air Attack 503, and Sierra County Watertender 18 converged on the Sage Fire under the command of Joe Griffin, Sage Incident Commander. Resources took suppression action including deploying a progressive hoselay from Engine 61, encircling the fire. The fire's edge was cooled by bucket drops from H-514 as fireline construction by firefighters from Engines, Helitack, and the Truckee Hotshots contained the fire to under a quarter acre. Fire Investigators were on-scene to determine the origin and cause while crews moved into mop up mode, drowning the fire, stirring it with hand tools, and hand feeling the entire fire area to ensure all heat was extinguished. Engines remained on-scene and available to initial attack a new start. The cause of the Sage Fire is under investigation.
The National Forest System land where the Sage Fire was burning had been treated by the local U.S. Forest Service years ago with thinning, mastication, and prescribed burning to reduce the fuel load and improve forest health. The adjacent private land had also been thinned and masticated by the land owners. Upon arrival, TNF Battalion 71 observed surface fire between 1-3 foot flame lengths, with a moderate rate of spread. "The fuels reduction treatments that the land received prior to this wildfire, reduced the intensity of the fire, keeping the fire on the ground, unable to climb into the canopy while slowing its rate of spread. This allowed for the firefighters to directly and more safely engage the fire and quickly gain control of it," stated Joe Griffin. A local homeowner who spotted the fire's column called 911 and noted how quickly all the fire resources arrived to put out the fire, relieved because of the potential for it to spread further into the forest and onto private property. The local familiarity of the area that TNF Fire Management leaders have from decades of firefighting on the Tahoe National Forest make for these fast and effective responses.