Fire still smolders, people reminded to stay out of area |

Fire still smolders, people reminded to stay out of area

by F.T. Norton

Two ultra-light aircraft flying within the perimeter of the Waterfall fire Friday interfered with helicopters dousing the last of the smoldering fire at the top of Ash Canyon and prompted officials to remind people again to stay out of the burn area.

“The temporary flight restrictions were lifted, so it’s not that they can’t be there. But we’re asking them not to be,” said Cynthia Sage, information officer for the U.S. Forest Service.

While the intrusion did not result in an incident, it did point out the need for people to avoid the fire area, said Pat Cross, Waterfall fire information officer.

“Many trees have been weakened by fire and could come crashing down. Rocks and logs have been loosed by fire and could roll down the hill,” he said. “Additionally, soils are extremely fragile following a fire and susceptible to erosion. By staying off the black slopes people can help minimize the chance of erosion when rains do come.”

Genny Wilson, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Wildlife Staff, is leading a 40-person Burned Area Emergency Response Team.

Their first assignment is to assess risks to human safety, lives, and property. Second, they determine how best to protect the watershed and stabilize the soils.

The team will design a plan to accomplish such goals as slowing soil erosion and reducing spread of noxious weeds by next week, Wilson said.

The BAER team will present the results of its evaluation to the public, said information officer Jason Kirchner. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

If people see someone in the burned area, they should contact the Carson City Sheriff’s Department non-emergency dispatch number at 887-2008.

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