Crews contain Waterfall fire; 8,723 total acres burned | NevadaAppeal.com

Crews contain Waterfall fire; 8,723 total acres burned

by F.T. Norton

The last of the Waterfall fire that consumed some 15 homes and more than 8,700 acres was fully contained Tuesday, said Cynthia Sage, fire information officer with the U.S. Forest Service.

“The guys that are on the line have been doing some work on one little pocket they were having trouble with. They dropped some buckets on it and they’re cleaning up hot spots,” she said. “It’s looking real good right now.”

The last vestige of the once-raging inferno is some smoldering brush in upper Ash Canyon, she said.

On Thursday morning, the fire command will be turned over to a Type III team of about 120 people who will finish mopping up and patrolling the area until the fire is done.

Sage said new mapping Tuesday was able to pinpoint the exact acres burned at 8,723.

The Waterfall fire was first spotted about 3 a.m. July 14. By 1 p.m., the small fire had exploded into an inferno that raced across the Sierra hills on the west side of Carson City, destroying homes and a business, as well as 24 outbuildings and several vehicles.

Crews on Tuesday were rehabilitating bulldozer lines and extinguishing all smoke within 400 feet of the fire line.

Investigators believe an illegal campfire possibly smoldered for days in an isolated location in upper Kings Canyon near the falls. Investigators would like to talk to anyone in the Kings Canyon vicinity up to a week prior to the fire being reported. Secret Witness (322-4900) is offering a cash reward.

Post-suppression rehabilitation includes stabilizing the burned area’s watershed.

The U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Nevada State Parks, Carson City and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are focused on preventing sediment from getting into stream channels, restoring drainage patterns, and minimizing surface and gully erosion on burned-out lands.

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has prohibited off-highway vehicles anywhere on the fire lines and in the burned area.

The Forest Service asked the public not to hamper the efforts of the Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, and refrain from entering the area.

Private landowners may obtain information on controlling soil erosion and helping plants recover on their property from Carson City Urban Forester Molly Sinnot at 884-1883.

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.