A lightning strike is the likely cause of a 1,600-acre fire burning in the Pine Nut Mountains east of Gardnerville on Wednesday afternoon.
The fire was reported at 12:45 p.m. about three miles south of Sierra Spirit Ranch near the old Preacher fire burn.
East Fork firefighters said the fire had the potential to grow to 8,000 acres as the wind picked up on Wednesday afternoon.
Three handcrews, two single-engine air tankers and several brush engines were called to the scene. A helicopter was dropping water on the fire.
No homes were immediately threatened by the fire, but Douglas County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue went door-to-door to notify residents.
In addition to East Fork, Douglas County deputies, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the Nevada Division of Forestry responded to the blaze.
A lightning storm that saw at least a dozen strikes across Douglas County left a quarter-acre fire burning above the Fay Luther trailhead on Tuesday.
The fire was reported at 4:10 p.m. after thunderheads built up over the Sierra crest much of the afternoon.
A helicopter dropped several buckets of water on the fire, which was in an inaccessible spot about midway up the mountain.
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