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January 26, 2007
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Dayton fire likely human caused

DAYTON - A child playing with fireworks may be to blame for a brush fire in Dayton that threatened several homes Friday afternoon.

Joe and Kiatta Isaccson said they were sitting in their front yard just after 1 p.m. when they heard a whistling sound and saw something white fly across the street.

"It sounded just like a bottle rocket," Joe said.

The couple agreed that at about the same time as the noise, they saw a 12-year-old neighbor boy running away. Then the brush in a ditch across the street from 208 Grosh burst into flames.

Kiatta said she ran inside and called 911 as she and her husband helplessly watched the blaze race through the dry brush.

"As soon as I saw the flames, I knew the fire department would have to take care of it," Joe said. "There was no way I could put that out with a bucket."

It took only moments for firefighters to get there, but by the time they did, flames had sped 100 feet up the hillside and were threatening a home, said Kiatta.

"It's a good thing we were out here because it would have burned that house down it was moving so fast."

Firefighters from Central Lyon County, Carson City, Nevada Division of Forestry, Silver City, East Fork, Bureau of Land Management and Tahoe were able to contain the blaze to 30 acres which stretched a half-mile along the ridge.

Central Lyon County Fire Chief John Gillenwater said evidence found at the scene and the statements of witnesses support the assertion that the blaze is human caused.

If that can be proven, he said, the federal government who owns the land will likely seek reimbursement for the costs of firefighting. No estimates were yet available.

Gillenwater said though the flames weren't as fast moving as an August fire might be, they spread fairly quickly, thanks to the drought.

"Our brush season has never ended," he said. "We live in the desert and even in the winter we can still have pretty substantial fires."

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jan 27, 2007 01:49AM Published Jan 26, 2007 03:00AM Copyright 2007 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.