First wildland fire of 2002 sears 200 acres

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The first wildland fire of 2002 had scorched 200 acres by Saturday evening.

The wildfire burning along the California/Nevada border is located off of State Route 182 about 50 miles southeast of Carson City.

Crews were called to the fire at noon Saturday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it is thought to have been started by an agricultural burn on a ranch Friday, said Sandy Erwin, of the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center in Minden.

The fire was laying down at press time, but continued to threaten Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest lands.

"The cool weather has helped a lot," Erwin said. "It's headed toward forest lands. That's why there are so many crews on it."

"Ten fire engines and two hand crews are currently on the scene of the fire," said Randy Scurry, fire center manager. "Structures were threatened for a short time, but firefighters kept the flames from causing any damage to structures and outbuildings."

Saturday's high winds and low relative humidities contributed to the fire's spread.

"It's not uncommon to have fires in the Great Basin anytime of the year," Scurry said. "Moisture is low in the vegetation and green-up of the fields is typically 30 to 60 days away. While the early winter precipitation created a good snow pack above 7,000 feet, the lower elevation fuels are dry."

Crews from the Lyon County Fire Department, the Nevada Division of Forestry, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the East Fork Fire and Paramedic District battled the blaze.


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