Admitting it got “scary and dangerous” Carson City fire and law enforcement officials were taking a deep breath Monday.
The Shooting Fire started at 11:20 Sunday when two men who were target shooting started the blaze. The fire, estimated at 258 acres, started on the west side of the “C” on C Hill in Carson City.
The wind drove the fire south toward the Stewart Indian Colony. An aggressive air attack and structure protection from local, state and federal agencies saved multiple structures, which were in the fire’s path.
“The fire started up on the side of a steep hill with high winds and hot afternoon temperatures, so it was difficult,” said Fire Chief Bob Schreihans. “But my crews did a great job; there were no structures lost, no one hurt. It got a bit scary and dangerous for a bit but they did a great job in stopping the fire.”
An evacuation order was in place for about 60 homes and was later lifted.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said the evacuation order came into effect because high winds were blowing flames towards structures, but also because if the area was evacuated before flames reached houses then crews could safely and effectively set up and fight the fires without worrying about civilians hindering the efforts.
“Many people stayed with hoses to water down their land but that was challenging because if the fire reaches homes and people are trying to get out of the area when fire crews are coming in, it could have hampered the fire department’s resources and that is why the evacuation was important,” Furlong said.
Despite the evacuation warnings, Furlong said only about 20 percent of residents left the area when recommended.
Several local entities were present to help in the efforts. Furlong said the Washoe Tribal Police called them nearly immediately to help with traffic control and evacuation and Carson City was able to aid with both staff and volunteers as well as several deputy fire chiefs, Public Works, City Manager Nick Marano and Mayor Robert Crowell.
“The colony is a part of our community and we did everything we could for them,” Furlong said.
Curry Street was closed for several hours to make sure crews could safely and effectively access the fire area, however, all roads were re-opened Sunday night.
About 225 personnel responded to the fire including fire equipment and personnel from East Fork, North Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Douglas, Truckee Meadows and Storey County as well the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Department of Forestry.
“It’s a testament to all the agencies who jumped on this real quick,” Crowell said Sunday. “Thanks to all the hard work of the sheriff’s office, the fire department, BLM, NDF.”
Officials said there is an old shooting range southwest of C Hill where gunfire from two shooters started the fire.
Crews spent Monday for clean-up and containment to make sure there were no other hot spots or possible ember flare ups. Full containment was expected about 6 p.m. tonight.