Firefighters making significant progress |

Firefighters making significant progress

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Water tender Russell Pillers of Teman and Teman Wildland Firefighting of Reno enjoys a massage Saturday at an appreciation picnic for the firefighters on Timberline Drive. Sara Warren of Baum Healing Arts Center of Reno was giving the massage.

Working overnight, hot shot crews made significant progress in containing the Waterfall fire’s western edge in the upper reaches of Ash Canyon. The fire was 85 percent contained Saturday night, authorities said.

“This is extremely important,” said Jason Kirchner, fire information officer. “Working at night when the humidity is higher and the winds have died down gives them a better opportunity to directly attack the fire.”

Although structures in the area are still at risk, that risk has been reduced.

“Our line has been holding all day,” Kirchner said. “That tells us we’ve been successful in our firefighting efforts.

“The same structures are still in danger but not as much danger as yesterday or the day before when that line was still untested.”

Evacuees were allowed to return to their homes Saturday. However, they were discouraged from staying overnight.

The Waterfall fire began around 3 a.m. Wednesday in Kings Canyon and has burned 7,566 acres. Fifteen homes have been destroyed and five firefighters have been injured.

The fire was human caused and is under investigation by state, federal and local agencies.

Authorities are looking for information on anyone who may have been in the upper Kings Canyon area any time from July 10 through July 14.

Anyone with information should call Secret Witness at 322-4900.

Crews are expecting the fire to be contained by Tuesday. A fire is contained when it can no longer grow. It is considered controlled, when flames are extinguished.

However, fires are unpredictable.

“We’re feeling pretty optimistic that we’ll have this fire under control pretty soon,” Kirchner said. “We’ve set the containment date for July 20. But that’s not a guarantee. Weather could change. Conditions could change.”

Contact Teri Vance at or at 881-1272.