Combating fires brings $1.8 million price tag
Appeal Staff Writer
Crews continued to gain the upper hand on a string of fires across Northern Nevada on Friday, with only two fires listed at less than 100 percent containment.
Fighting the fires has cost about $1.8 million, according to the Great Basin Incident Management Team.
The team overseeing the Sierra-Tahoe Complex of 16 fires has listed the Linehan fire as 100 percent contained. The total acreage of the Linehan fire is 5,863 acres encompassing parts of Carson City, Storey and Lyon counties. The cost to fight the fire was $656,871.
There were reports Friday of trees torching, creating plumes of smoke visible from Carson City. These incidents are well within the fire interior and pose no threat, according to Lisa Ortega, spokeswoman for the Great Basin/Rocky Mountain Type I Team.
One crew of 29 people remained at the Linehan fire Friday, where the operating objectives shifted to mop up and rehabilitation. Ortega said the first priority now is to return the ground to its natural contour, which helps preserve the top soil and prevent erosion that is a concern following wildfires.
Increasing concern about fire danger in the area has promoted fire restrictions, which are set for implementation at 12:01 a.m. today.
The restrictions encompass Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service and Nevada Division of Forestry Lands in Western Nevada.
As of Friday afternoon, the 1,809-acre Balls Canyon fire was listed as 70 percent contained and the 3,200-acre Virginia fire as 90 percent contained.
Twenty-five agencies worked to battle the fires stretching from Boomtown to Pyramid Lake to Silver Springs to Carson City and back up the Sierra Front totaling 11,567 acres.
The estimated $1.8 million price tag does not include the fires burning outside the complex, including the 78,000-acre Suzie fire near Elko or several fires burning in Northeast Nevada.
The state will be able to apply for federal emergency funding to cover 75 percent of the total costs of fire suppression. The remaining amount will come from the state, most likely out of the Disaster Relief Fund, which had a balance of $9.62 million as of Friday.
In Carson City, Mustang Sallie a.k.a. Randy Wright was happy to see the fire come under control earlier this week.
The owner of Mustang Sallie’s Deuces Grill has been working long days to provide more than 1,000 meals for the crews battling the Linehan fire.
“We love the firefighters and we did it to help them out,” Sallie said.
Sallie and her staff made breakfasts of bagels, pastries and cream cheese, lunches of roast beef and pastrami and dinners of red potatoes and ham steaks Sunday through Tuesday while the fire was burning.
“We wanted them to have good food for the day. The fires started up really fast and these guys needed high-energy food to get them going,” Sallie said.
The staff of the grill, located inside the Old Globe Saloon, came in at 1:30 a.m. to complete the meals before the restaurant opened at 9 a.m.
Sallie and her staff were able to rest Thursday and Friday as the majority of crews working on the fire were reassigned.
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Fire restrictions beginning today prohibit:
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire except a portable stove using gas or pressurized liquid fuel, outside a developed fee campground or picnic area (except by permit).
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed campground or picnic area.
• Welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
• Using or causing to be used an explosive, except by permit.
• Possession or use of fireworks, tracer rounds, steel-core ammunition or any other incendiary device.
• Open burning including weeds, brush or yard debris.
Restrictions are in effect for all BLM, National Forest Service and Nevada Division of Forestry lands in western Nevada. This includes all areas within the Sierra Forest Fire Protection District.
Check posted regulations at camp sites for additional restrictions.
Those who do not comply with these and posted regulations are subject to a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment up to six months in jail or both and is a class B misdemeanor.