With more lightning expected this afternoon Douglas County officials are warning residents near the 150-acre Preacher fire to be prepared to evacuate.
“Due to the expected thunderstorms this afternoon that may influence fire direction, we have started a precautionary message to those living between Fred’s Road and Pine Nut Creek Road between Blue J and Ruby Mine area to be prepared to evacuate,” East Fork Deputy Chief Dave Fogerson said.
A shelter is being set up by Community Emergency Response Team volunteers at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center.
“Reverse 911 and Douglas County Search and Rescue will be notifying those of the potential evacuation,” Fogerson said. “We have a command post established with DCSO, East Fork and BLM representatives. We are setting up for structure protection of the homes using engines and overhead personnel.”
The fire is burning in an area accessible only to hand crews and aircraft.
“We have a number of aircraft and hand crews either on scene or requested to assist,” Fogerson said. “We have also requested dozer, public information office, additional engines and overhead personnel.”
The fire is one of two set by a lightning storm early Monday morning. The first fire near Leviathan Mine Road was quickly extinguished.
East Fork and the U.S. Forest Service responded to a half acre fire at Mica Drive and Highway 395 on Monday morning. The fire was reported at 10:22 a.m., and was knocked down within 12 minutes. Firefighters will be on scene for another 45 minutes to mop up.
Forecasters are predicting scattered thunderstorms through Tuesday afternoon.
Heavy rain and flashflooding is possible until Wednesday when drier air arrives reducing the chances of thunderstorms.