UPDATE: The Pedlar Fire, as of 1:30 a.m., Monday morning has burned 96 acres and is 40 percent contained. State Route 342 remains closed. About 160 firefighters 12 engines and two helicopter were on the scene.
SILVER CITY — Residents of Silver City fled their homes and State Route 341 was closed Sunday afternoon as a wildfire burned out of control in the hills west of the tiny town.
A dozen fire agencies responded with more than 20 engines, along with multiple aircraft and dozers to the blaze that started off of Pedlar Road just before 2 p.m.
Although evacuations were voluntary along State Route 341 and 342, in Silver City and Dayton Toll Road, Lyon County Sheriff’ Lieutenant Rob Hall said several residents chose to leave their homes.
By 6:30 p.m., however, he said no structures were threatened.
“Initially, the direction of the fire was directly toward the houses,” he said. “Fortunately, the fuels in that area went around the structures.”
By 8:30 p.m., homowners were feeling a calmness return.
“We are safe and sound,” resident Sara Ross wrote on her Facebook wall. “It got a little scary, but we are fine now.”
He said the heat wave and steep mountains covered in brush made it difficult to fight the fire.
“It’s 104 degrees out there and 40 mph winds, so it’s tough,” Hall said. “It’s tough terrain, difficult to get to. They have their hands full.”
Hall said the closure of the road to Virginia City and evacuations were issued as a public safety measure.
“The fire was headed toward State Route 341 and actually jumped the road,” he said. “We don’t want people driving into a dangerous situation.”
The truck route to Virginia City — State Route 342 — remained open.
A shelter was opened at Dayton High School, operated by Lyon County Human Services and American Red Cross.
Margie Quirk, owner of Lone Mountain Veterinary Hospital, offered to house any small animals of evacuees.
No injuries or fatalities had been reported.
The cause is under investigation.