Tuesday update: Cold Springs Fire remains at 4,012 acres

An air tanker circles over the Cold Springs Fire before dropping a load of retardant.

An air tanker circles over the Cold Springs Fire before dropping a load of retardant.

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A lightning-caused fire that began in the Desatoya Mountain Range east of Fallon has remained at 4,012 acres as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Cold Springs Fire, which is now 15 percent contained, is burning in thick vegetation and steep, inaccessible terrain about 65 miles east of Fallon. The fire is located 15 miles east of U.S. Highway 50 just north of State Route 722. The two-lane Carroll Summit Highway is a secondary route to the Reese River Valley and Austin. At times the fire crossed the highway. As of Tuesday, the Carroll Summit Highway has reopened.

“This is the largest fire of the year the Carson City District,” said Lisa Ross, BLM public information officer.

She said a Nevada Type 3 Incident Management Team from the Sierra Front took over fire operations on Monday and expects the fire to be contained by Saturday.

Ross said the fire is consuming juniper trees and grass as air and ground crews are actively engaged in fire suppression activities. She also said the fire has burned some areas of sage grouse habitat and is threatening a Priority Habitat Management Area.

“The fire is actively burning within Nevada Department of Wildlife Hunt Unit 184 in the lower central section of the Desatoya Mountain Range,” she added.

In addition to BLM crews fighting the fire, the Nevada Division of Forestry has three hand crews fighting the blaze and a kitchen crew came from Wells.

“Crews continue to build line around the perimeter of the fire for increased containment,” Ross said. “The fire management team is asking all hunters and recreational users to avoid use of the Carroll Summit Highway between Eastgate and Austin at this time due to the heavy use of fire equipment, aircraft, and numerous fire personnel utilizing the area and road.”

According to Ross, about 267 air and ground crews are on the scene. Numerous helicopters and air tankers have been dropping water and slurry on the fire. BLM engines, Helitack units and NDF handcrews have come from several states including Nevada. Ross said the helicopters are using water from various sources including the Campbell Ranch. A temporary SEAT (Single Engine Tanker Air Tanker) base has been established at Austin for planes to load slurry.

Two fires are also burning in eastern California, the most recent one in Mono County two miles southwest of Lee Vining.

The Walker Fire, located north of Walker Lake (California) in the June Lake loop, started Friday evening. The U.S. Forest Service reports the cause of the 3,700-acre fire is man-caused and is under investigation. Approximately 150 firefighters are on the scene as are five helicopters and two air tankers.

According to an incident report issued Tuesday afternoon, about 20 structures are threatened and have been evacuated near Walker Lake. Smoke can be seen from U.S. Highway 395. The fire is burning in mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened.

The 150-acre Eagle Two Fire on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest west of Bridgeport, Calif., is 50 percent contained. One engine, three handcrews, two helicopters, and various overhead staff are on the scene. The U.S. Forest Service said lightning caused the fire early last week.


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