250 firefighters battled 185-square-mile blaze near Battle Mountain
RENO — A wind-whipped brush fire that has consumed more than 185 square miles of rangeland in north-central Nevada burned within a few hundred yards of ranch homes on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or structure damage.
More than 250 firefighters were on the scene Monday and more were on the way, U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Rudy Evenson said.
No mandatory evacuations were ordered, but a voluntary evacuation advisory was issued in the old mining town of Midas, about 35 miles north of Battle Mountain and 50 miles south of the Idaho line, Evenson said.
The Red Cross set up a temporarily shelter at the junior high in Winnemucca, about 50 miles northwest of Battle Mountain near U.S. Interstate 80, he said.
The lightning-sparked blaze started about 3 p.m. Saturday and more than doubled in size Sunday.
“It’s pretty windy again today so we might see another big day,” Evenson told The Associated Press Monday afternoon from near the fire lines about 3 miles west of Midas.
“I just drove by a ranch that was a pretty good save (by fire crews),” he said. “The black is a few hundred yards from the house.”
Fire crews on the ground were being assisted from the air by four large air tankers, nine single-engine air tankers and four helicopters.
Bureau of Land Management Elko District Manager Jill Silvey said that in addition to several ranches, the fire was threatening priority sage grouse habitat and a number of mining structures in the area. It’s currently estimated to be about 5 percent contained, with full containment projected more than a week away.
The Red Cross shelter in Winnemucca can be reached at 775-397-4829, Evenson said.