Firefighters battle blaze near Topaz Ranch Estates
Firefighters battled 100-plus degree temperatures and light winds Friday afternoon to get the upper hand on the Sleeping Elephant fire at Topaz Ranch Estates south of Highway 208.
The fire, which was caused by lightning, had grown to six acres by 4 p.m. Douglas County Search and Rescue volunteers were called out to assist with voluntary evacuation of homes near Quail Run.
Highway 208 is closed at Holbrook Junction and American Way to all but residents due to a fire burning south of Topaz Ranch Estates.
Smoke was visible from Highway 395. At the intersection of Carter Way and Albite, flames were visible less than an eighth of a mile from residences.
Winds were clocked at 5-7 mph.
Retired Topaz Lake Fire Chief Bob Gable said at least three helicopters were dipping into Topaz Lake for water to fight the fire which broke out about 2 p.m.
“It’s on the back side of Wild Oat Mountain,” Gable said. “It’s on the east side of the eastern slope burning down hill toward the old Sleeping Elephant Ranch,” Gable said.
Two airtankers also were on scene with 45 personnel, one hand crew, three engines and three command staff.
According to a Bureau of Land Management spokesman, numerous downstrikes were reported Friday afternoon in Douglas, Lyon and Washoe counties.
The Sleeping Elephant fire was burning grass and brush with one structure threatened and 50 structures nearby at 4 p.m.