Bison fire grows to 2,000 acres

A view of the Bison fire on Friday night.

A view of the Bison fire on Friday night.

The Bison fire grew to 2,000 acres Friday afternoon, as 30 mph wind gusts fanned flames in a thick mix of piñon and juniper trees.

The fire has crested the Pine Nut Mountains and was heading down the east slope toward Smith Valley, according to Sierra Front Dispatch Center Information Officer Elayne Briggs.

Briggs said the eight hand crews trying to build a line around the fire are being moved off. Crews got a line a fifth of the way around the fire.

Southwest winds were blowing 17 mph, gusting to 31 mph at 3:33 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service station located at the Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

Firefighters are working to protect structures and build handlines to keep the fire contained in the Pine Nut Creek area five miles east of Gardnerville.

As of 4 p.m., no structures have been reported lost in the fire, nor have there been any reports of injuries.

In all 350 firefighters, including eight hand crews, 12 engines, five single-engine air tankers, three helicopters, two water tenders and four bulldozers are working the fire.

The fire, first reported at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, was set by lightning.

The fire’s movement caused the unified command of the Bison Fire to notified the Lyon County Office of Emergency Management about the fire’s risk to residents of Smith Valley and Wellington.

According to County Manager Jeff Page, flames and smoke may be visible on the ridge of the mountain and fire officials are aware of where the fire is spreading.

The Emergency Management Coordinator was in a briefing with the Bison Fire Unified Command to determine the extent of the fire and the possibility of the fire moving into the Smith Valley/Wellington area.

As of Friday evening, no evacuation orders were in place for Smith Valley and Wellington residents.


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