Bison fire’s growth is slowing, but firefighting costs are going up

Growth of the 24,136-acre Bison fire, which is being called the largest in Western Nevada’s recorded history, slowed considerably Wednesday.

The plume of smoke visible all week southeast of Carson City was nearly gone.

What wasn’t slowing, however, was the cost of fighting the blaze. It had climbed to $4.8 million as of Wednesday morning, according to a National Interagency Coordination Center incident management report.

Nearly 1,100 firefighters continued to battle wind and terrain challenges while fighting the blaze Wednesday night.

As of about 7 p.m., firefighters were working along a ridge above 78 evacuated homes at the mouth of Pipeline Canyon, in western Smith Valley, to stop the blaze.

An evacuation of those homes was lifted after firefighters got things under control.

A voluntary evacuation of homes went into effect Tuesday evening, when the fire began creeping down the slope toward Pipeline Canyon, just south of Artesia Lake.

Even with 65 percent containment, officials were watching the weather Wednesday, wary of anything that would impede their progress.

In nearly a week in which the fire has been burning since it was set by lightning on Independence Day, only one structure has been reported lost, and a firefighter twisted a knee.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid called the fire, which burned more than 43 square miles, the largest blaze ever recorded in Western Nevada while speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday.


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