Fire crews about done with state's largest blaze

RENO - Fire crews were starting to go home after surrounding Nevada's largest wildfire so far this season.

''The weather continued to cooperate through the night,'' fire spokeswoman Cathleen Thompson said on Tuesday. ''It looks like we'll probably start demobilizing personnel.''

The Kelly Creek fire 12 miles northeast of Golconda was sparked by lightning on Saturday and exploded over the weekend as hot, dry winds spread flames and embers through the dry vegetation.

Cooler temperatures and higher humidities, combined with lighter winds, helped slow the spread of the blaze. It was fully contained late Tuesday.

Another aerial reconnaissance on Tuesday put the size of the burn at 37,717 acres. It was estimated at about 41,000 acres on Monday.

While as few as 50 fighters were able to reach the fire over the weekend in steep, rocky terrain, Thompson said 426 people were on the lines Tuesday.

They were assisted by overhead drops of fire retardant from air tankers.

The area was so remote that a handful of firefighters had to parachute in and set up a small camp with supplies being dropped to them.

The fire 200 miles northeast of Reno was by far the largest of several touched off by lightning.

They have blackened more than 49,000 acres across northern Nevada since late last week. So far this year, 75,984 acres have been charred in 360 fires statewide.

Last year, 1.7 million acres burned with six of the top 10 Western wildfires in Nevada, five in the northern part of the state.

Other fires that began Friday as thunderstorms moved though the state also were contained.

Those include a 7,600-acre blaze about 30 miles east of Reno in Lyon County, a 1,200-acre blaze eight miles northeast of Austin and a 2,000-acre fire 70 miles east of Fallon.

No damage to homes or serious injuries were reported, although some fires burned within 200 feet of homes 15 miles north of Reno last week.


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