Andrew fire fully contained on Friday |

Andrew fire fully contained on Friday

by F.T. Norton

The Andrew fire was 100 percent contained as of 5 p.m. Friday, officials said.

“Mostly crews are mopping up and rehabilitating dozer lines,” said Mark Struble at the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center.

The blaze, which began Wednesday afternoon on federal land in Steamboat Springs, burned 2,744 acres and destroyed six homes, seven outbuildings and 22 vehicles.

Since there was no other large fire in the West, a heavy air attack coupled with cooperating winds helped fire fighters get a handle on the blaze quickly, Struble said.

“(The air attack) slowed the fire down on the eastern flank, but the direction of the wind prevented it from moving west,” he said. “If the wind had been more out of the south it would have taken out a whole lot more houses.”

Also, unlike the Waterfall fire in Carson City on July 14 that burned into thick brush and trees which held the heat and could re-ignite, Struble said the Andrew fire burned in “flash fuel.”

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“Most of the fuel here was pretty flashy and it cooled off almost as fast as it ignited,” he said.

At its height, 555 firefighters fought the blaze. Demobilization began Friday.

An interagency Great Basin Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed command of fire operations Thursday evening.

The Incident Command Post is at Bowers Mansion Regional Park in north Washoe Valley.

Reno Fire Marshal Larry Farr said the fire was sparked by a man who was target shooting when a bullet ricocheted off a rock. He said the man was in an area where it was legal to shoot. While criminal charges are not likely, the man could face civil lawsuits for damages from people whose homes were lost or damaged.

Local, state and federal officials said they would consider tightening restrictions on target shooting in light of the prolonged drought.

Contact F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.