Fire contained; full control expected today | NevadaAppeal.com

Fire contained; full control expected today

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Judy James, of Gardnerville, gets ready for another day at the fire camp at Carson High School on Thursday. James is one of more than 200 firefighters battling the Badger fire east of Carson City. BRAD HORN Nevada Appeal

The Badger fire started in an area easily accessible by vehicle, which may aid investigators in figuring out what caused the wildland fire, expected to be controlled today, an official said.

The 736-acre fire began Tuesday in Brunswick Canyon and has burned for three days in the piñon, juniper, cheatgrass and sagebrush on the federally owned land near Badger Springs.

Tom Crawford, spokesman for the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch, said the fire’s origin is in an area easily accessible by vehicle, which may help investigators determine what ignited the first major Northern Nevada blaze of the season.

“You can actually drive most of Brunswick this time of year with just a two-wheel drive vehicle – not like it’s soft soil, a lot of sand or mud,” he said. “It’s actually a popular party spot for kids.”

Aside from its recreation uses, the land is also a sage grouse habitat, deer winter range and watershed.

Though no cause is yet known, he said, state and federal fire investigators are expected to release their findings within the next few days.

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A fire line was completed around the perimeter of the fire Thursday, making it 100 percent contained. Crawford said containment is calculated by how much of the fire is surrounded by handcrews and fire breaks reaching 300 feet into the burn area.

At this point, the only concern is the threat of thunderstorms today and Saturday which could mean high winds and lightning, Crawford said.

According to the National Weather Service, a fire-weather watch goes into affect with the forecast of dry lightning from 9 a.m. this morning until 9 tonight for Lyon and Churchill counties.

Personnel from the Bureau of Land Management, Lyon and Douglas County fire departments, Carson City Fire Department, Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Nevada Division of Forestry, California Division of Forestry, North Lake Tahoe Fire Department, Reno Fire Department, Sparks Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service continue the battle.

Motorists and recreationalists are advised to continue to avoid the area.

The Badger fire is one of 26 active fires burning across Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, California, Texas and Alaska, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Firefighters in Southern Nevada on Thursday were battling to control at least 10 lightning-sparked fires that together had burned more than 11,000 acres.

The largest – dubbed the Goodsprings fire – charred 7,000 acres south of Las Vegas near the community of Jean and prompted the evacuation of 100 children and adults from a Boy Scout camp near Mount Potosi.

Officials described the evacuation as a preventive measure. A voluntary evacuation also was issued for the nearby community of Mountain Springs. The number of those evacuated there was not immediately known.

About 350 firefighters were assigned to the fires in Southern Nevada, which were burning mostly in rugged and remote land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Five air tankers, four helicopters and 12 engines were brought in to fight the fires, which were ignited by a barrage of lightning storms that blew through the area Wednesday. Officials recorded more than 400 lightning strikes.

The Coyote fire burned 3,000 acres north of Las Vegas in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge near Highway 93 and Interstate 15.

Three fires totaling 200 acres were burning in the Red Rock National Conservation Area. Authorities said nobody had been injured and no structures had been damaged or threatened.

— Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Badger fire

736 acres burned

Timeline

• 3:25 p.m. Tuesday: first reported

• 9:39 p.m. Tuesday: 10 percent contained

• 9 p.m. Wednesday: 90 percent contained

• 6 p.m. Thursday: Full containment

• Full control expected by 6 p.m. today

Location

5 miles east of Carson City in southwest Brunswick Canyon

Carson City/Lyon County

Fuel

Piñon, juniper, cheatgrass and sagebrush

Resources

2 hand crews, 40 command staff, 7 engines, 1 bulldozer, 5 water tenders

Agencies

265 personnel Bureau of Land Management, Lyon and Douglas County fire departments, Carson City Fire Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Nevada Division of Forestry, California Division of Forestry, North Lake Tahoe Fire Department, Reno Fire Department, Sparks Fire Department and United States Forest Service.

Other

• One minor injury to a firefighter was reported.

• Estimated costs of suppression to date are $413,024 with a final fire cost estimated to reach $910,000.

• No structures damaged or threatened.

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