BLM concerned with number of wildland fires | NevadaAppeal.com

BLM concerned with number of wildland fires

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

In this file photo from July’s Draw Fire, the Tungsten Fire is burning in the northeastern part of the Clan Alpine mountain range.

Fire fighters are battling three lightning-caused wildland fires, including one 60 miles northeast of Fallon, that have consumed more than 35,000 acres.

The Tungsten Fire in the Clan Alpine Range has burned 5,068 acres and will not be contained until next week, reports the Bureau of Land Management.

Julie Thomas, public information officer with a Great Basin IMT (Interagency Management Team) 7, said assets are being stretched with the three fires, especially the Tohakum 2 blaze burning 40 miles north of Nixon. Started by lightning on Tuesday, the fire has grown to more than 30,000 acres with zero containment and closed Nevada State Route 447, the main route between Reno and Burning Man. Burning Man is an annual event that takes place at Black Rock City, a temporary city of 65,000 people erected in the Black Rock Desert.

The Nevada Department of Transportation reopened the highway Thursday morning, but the BLM said changing conditions could result in additional road closures.

The BLM's outlook reports the Tohakum 2 fire, which began on Tokakum Peak, is a major safety concern with the potential to progress toward Burning Man. The incident report also stated high voltage electrical transmission lines have been damaged.

"This fire is a bigger concern because of the road closure and proximity to more people," she said.

Recommended Stories For You

The fire was burning west of Burning Man in short grass and brush.

Lightning also caused another fire Tuesday night 15 miles northeast of Sparks and is 60 percent contained. It has burned almost 1,000 acres in short grass and sagebrush

The Tungsten Fire is 20 percent contained and is the second major fire to burn in the Clan Alpine range this summer. The Draw Fire burned 22,000 acres in July and closed U.S. Highway 50 several times because of heavy smoke and fire reaching the highway near Cold Springs.

The Tungsten Fire began Sunday night, also from a weather system that passed through Northern Nevada and produced thunderstorms and lightning. The fire is burning in brush and short grass at an elevation of 7,168 feet. The BLM said a power plant is located 3 miles away from the fire's south end.

Thomas said heavy rainfall Wednesday afternoon, though, made a dent in containing the fire.

Two overhead teams from the Great Basin region arrived Thursday in western Nevada to manage the fires. Each management team manages a number of assets ranging from hand crews, wildland fire engines and aviation assets. A Nevada Type 3 team is smaller than a Great Basin IMT with fewer people to manage a fire.

"We have a lot of fires, and resources are stretched pretty thin," Thomas said.

As of Thursday morning, 194 personnel have been sent to the Tungsten Fire to include hand crews and engines. The BLM also said a large tanker plane dropped retardant on the perimeter earlier this week.

Fire fighters are battling three lightning-caused wildland fires, including one 60 miles northeast of Fallon, that have consumed more than 35,000 acres.

The Tungsten Fire in the Clan Alpine Range has burned 5,068 acres and will not be contained until next week, reports the Bureau of Land Management.

Julie Thomas, a public information officer with a Great Basin IMT (Interagency Management Team) 7, said assets are being stretched with the three fires, especially the Tohakum 2 blaze burning 40 miles north of Nixon. Started by lightning on Tuesday, the fire has grown to more than 30,000 acers with zero containment and for a short time åclosed Nevada State Route 447, the main route between Reno and Burning Man. Burning Man is an annual event that takes place at Black Rock City, a temporary city of 65,000 people erected in the Black Rock Desert.

The Nevada Department of Transportation reopened the highway Thursday morning, but the BLM said changing conditions could result in additional road closures.

The BLM's outlook reports the Tohakum 2 fire, which began on Tokakum Peak, is a major safety concern with the potential to progress toward Burning Man. The incident report also stated high voltage electrical transmission lines have been damaged.

"This fire is a bigger concern because of the road closure and proximity to more people," she said.

The fire was burning west of Burning Man in short grass and brush.

Lightning also caused another fire Tuesday night 15 miles northeast of Sparks and is 60 percent contained. It has burned almost 1,000 acres in short grass and sagebrush

The Tungsten Fire is 20 percent contained and is the second major fire to burn in the Clan Alpine range this summer. The Draw Fire burned 22,000 acres in July and closed U.S. Highway 50 several times because of heavy smoke and fire reaching the highway near Cold Springs.

The Tungsten Fire began Sunday night, also from a weather system that passed through Northern Nevada and produced thunderstorms and lightning. The fire is burning in brush and short grass at an elevation of 7,168 feet. The BLM said a power plant is located 3 miles away from the fire's south end.

Thomas said heavy rainfall Wednesday afternoon, though, made a dent in containing the fire.

Two overhead teams from the Great Basin region arrived Thursday in western Nevada to manage the fires. Each management team manages a number of assets ranging from hand crews, wildland fire engines and aviation assets. A Nevada Type 3 team is smaller than a Great Basin IMT with fewer people to manage a fire.

"We have a lot of fires, and resources are stretched pretty thin," Thomas said.

As of Thursday morning, 194 personnel have been sent to the Tungsten Fire to include hand crews and engines. The BLM also said a large tanker plane dropped retardant on the perimeter earlier this week.

Go back to article