No estimate for containment of 1,200-acre Burbank Fire

Jim Grant/Nevada Appeal

Jim Grant/Nevada Appeal

A fire burning out of control Saturday in Smith Valley had grown to 1,200 acres by 7 p.m. and was 10 percent contained, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center.

Two injuries were reported on the fire, one for smoke inhalation and one for dehydration.

Lyon County Manager Jeff Page said the Board of Commissioners has declared a state of emergency for the fire, which has been named the Burbank Fire for its location in Burbank Canyon.

Air operations were suspended by late afternoon Saturday due to wind conditions, and Search and Rescue personnel notified residents north of Day Lane and Artesia Road late Saturday morning to prepare for evacuation. By Saturday afternoon, no evacuations had been recommended or ordered, Page said.

Gusty and erratic winds along with increasing wind speeds out of the southwest were driving the fire in a generally northeasterly direction, causing significant concern for structures.

"The fire blew through Cardinal Lane right between homes earlier, but it's a good distance away right now," Page said Saturday evening. "If the wind changes direction, the fire could get right back into the homes fairly quickly, so we're keeping a close eye on that."

One outbuilding was lost, he said, an old abandoned mining shack.

Five air tankers, eight hand crews, eight command staff, three helicopters, two dozers, 20 engines and 380 personnel were on the scene of the Bureau of Land Management fire, with assistance coming from the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry and Lyon County.

The blaze, which is burning in pinon-juniper, also is destroying sage grouse habitat, threatening Mono Basin deer winter range and viewsheds.

"Units are actively engaged in structure protection and constructing a handline for containment," according to the dispatch center. "Air resources were grounded for awhile Saturday due to high winds, but resumed once winds died down."

Air support resumed with bucket drops on the fire and structure protection remains in place.

The cause of the fire, which started at about 4 p.m. Friday, is unknown at this time.


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