2 firefighters killed in Nevada crash as fires burn in West
Two federal firefighters were killed in a crash returning from a wildfire patrol in remote northern Nevada, while crews battled blazes across the Western U.S.
Federal fire managers on Monday reported active fires in at least nine states. Here’s a look at some of them:
Tire failure may be to blame for a firetruck rollover crash that killed two federal firefighters and injured a third on a highway about 37 miles north of Winnemucca, the Nevada Highway Patrol said Monday.
The driver was among the two men killed in the wreck about 5:20 p.m. Sunday on State Highway 140, about 6 miles from the junction with U.S. Highway 95, Trooper Jim Stewart said.
The injured firefighter was flown by medical helicopter to a Reno hospital, where a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman said he was in stable condition.
Their names weren’t immediately released.
The crew was returning to Winnemucca from fire-spotting patrol following weekend lightning strikes near the Oregon state line town of Denio, BLM spokesman Stephen Clutter said.
The highway patrol and local agencies escorted the bodies of the two dead firefighters during the 165-mile trip on Interstate 80 from Winnemucca to Reno, Clutter and Stewart said.
Five homes have been destroyed by a Colorado wildfire that authorities say two transient men accidentally started.
Officials said Monday that two more houses burned. Three homes were confirmed lost Sunday near the mountain town of Nederland, roughly 20 miles west of Boulder.
Court documents say 28-year-old Jimmy Andrew Suggs of Vinemont, Alabama, told investigators that he and Zack Ryan Kuykendall didn’t put dirt on their campfire to extinguish it, just rocks.
They were arrested Sunday at a shelter for people evacuated by the fire, which has burned about a square mile and has been fueled by hot, dry weather. A day before they were coincidentally interviewed by a reporter from the Daily Camera about the fire with Suggs saying they had “never seen anything like it.”
Some residents have lashed out at Suggs on a Facebook page that appears to be his and expressed frustration with people living in campsites in the area.
It’s not clear how long Suggs and Kuykendall had been camping in the area along with a 20-year-old woman who investigators say didn’t help build the fire. According to the court documents, they told investigators they had been camping in the area at different sites on what turned out to be private property and reading their Bibles.
The campfire that sparked the fire was about a mile away from an established campground popular with transients, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office division chief Heidi Prentup said.
Crews bracing for another round of dry winds doused hot spots Monday as they continue to build containment lines around a smoky fire that forced weekend evacuations in the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles.
Officials said late Sunday that the blaze in the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains was 65 percent contained after consuming about 1.7 square miles of thick chaparral.
The fire sparked Saturday prompted the South Coast Air Quality Management District to issue a smoke advisory through Monday for portions of the valley because of potentially unhealthy air.
About 2,000 people sent fleeing from homes in the Stevenson Ranch area were allowed to return Saturday night.
Aerial photos showed the flames came to the property line of a ridgetop home that was covered in fire retardant.
The cause is under investigation.