by Kurt Hildebrand

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July 10, 2013
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Wednesday Update: Red flag warning issued for Bison fire

While haze from the 25,733-acre Bison fire hangs in the air, today is the first morning in six days when a huge smoke plume wasn’t rising out of the Pine Nut Mountains.

But the clock is ticking for firefighters working to contain what is being called the largest blaze ever recorded in Western Nevada.

A red flag warning for high winds and low humidity starting at 1 p.m. today was issued by the National Weather Service at 7:43 a.m.

Humidity in Western Nevada is expected to drop to 7-14 percent while winds will pick up to 15-20 mph, gusting to 35 mph. Winds on the higher slopes will be 40-45 mph.

At 40.2 square miles, the fire was called the largest blaze ever recorded in Western Nevada, by Sen. Harry Reid speaking before the Senate today.

The cost of to fight the Bison fire climbed to $4.8 million this morning, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center Incident Management Report issued 4:30 a.m. today.

According to the report, while structures continue to be threatened, only one has been taken by the fire so far as nearly three dozen hand crews and 37 engines worked through the night to stop the fire. This morning helicopters and air tankers will rejoin the fight.

A red flag warning was issued by the National Weather Service

On Tuesday evening, residents of 78 homes in western Smith Valley near the mouth of Pipeline Canyon were asked to evacuate as the fire crept down slope in their direction.

Firefighters were able to reinforce the line last night. Firefighters area asking that the voluntary evacuation be extended until after wind dies down tonight to make sure the line holds.

Geomac fire mapping shows that the fire made it to Artesian Road in Smith Valley, but that portion was not actively burning.

Expect widespread haze from the fire today, particularly after 11 a.m.

The National Weather Service is forecasting breezy conditions with southwest winds 5-10 mph increasing to 15-20 mph in the afternoon, and gusting to 30 mph.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jul 10, 2013 06:00PM Published Jul 10, 2013 11:31AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.