Fire chars northern portion of valley |

Fire chars northern portion of valley

Jim Scripps

A brush fire that officials are blaming on two juveniles playing with fireworks scorched 10-15 acres in Carson City Wednesday before it was quickly brought under control.

The fire started at about 1:50 p.m. when the two juveniles were apparently launching bottle rockets in the hills above Centennial Park, northeast of Eagle Valley Golf Course.

The fire spread uphill until firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, Carson City Fire Department, Nevada Division of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and Grass Valley Fire Department, which provided a helicopter, were able to surround the fire with a waterline and bring it under control 2 1/2 hours later.

When originally reported, the fire, fueled mostly by waist-high brush and grasses, had only consumed about one acre. Firefighters even called off a helicopter, believing the fire could be quickly snuffed out, said Carson fire Capt. Adrianne Weintz.

The fire then spread from two to five acres, prompting officials to recall the helicopter, she said. Because Minden helicopter pilots had the day off, a “tanker” was brought in from Grass Valley to help construct the waterline.

The fire’s rapid expansion was due in large part to the geography and strong winds, said an official at Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators. The winds pushed the fire from its starting point near the base of the hill, all the way to the top where it was slowed by a lack of fuel.

The two juveniles were questioned by fire investigators but were not charged with any crime.

The fire above Centennial Park is the second this year in Eagle Valley. A fire on Duck Hill threatened homes, campsites and blackened close to 25 acres of bureau and Washoe Lake State Park.