Preacher Fire threatens 400 homes in Douglas County
July 25, 2017
More than 400 homes were threatened by a 4,651-acre fire burning in the Pine Nut Mountains east of Gardnerville.
A firefighter received minor injuries while working on the lightning-caused blaze that was first reported at 3:30 a.m. Monday.
An estimated 300 firefighters, including seven 20-member handcrews, 11 airplanes, seven helicopters, a dozen engines, three water tenders and two bulldozers were battling the fire.
"Access is demanding and dangerous for crews due to rough terrain, numerous mineshafts, washed out roads, along with fuel moistures that have hit critical levels and erratic weather," Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch fire officials said. "Scattered thunderstorms are forecast to continue today with gusty, unpredictable winds and frequent lightning."
National Weather Service forecasters issued a flash flood watch for eastern Douglas County, including the Pine Nuts due to a chance of monsoonal rains.
"Heavy rain is still possible with thunderstorms over far Western Nevada, however, the main coverage of storms is expected to be focused in the Pine Nut and Virginia Ranges," forecasters said.
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The weather is expected to dry out today, reducing the chance of lightning.
On Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it would pay up to three-quarters of the recovery costs related to the Preacher Fire.
Nevada submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant declaration to fund recovery costs for the Preacher Fire burning in Douglas County.
A disaster declaration by Douglas County commissioners had been delayed, as fire officials tracked the fire's progress on Tuesday.
Lightning sparked an 18-acre fire near the end of Stockyard Road in the Pine Nut Mountains on Monday afternoon, drawing resources away from the Preacher Fire burning a few miles to the south.
The Flats fire was first reported at 3:53 p.m., according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch. The fire was quickly contained. Four engine crews spent the night to ensure it didn't rekindle.
A half-acre fire at Highway 395 and Mica Drive is being blamed on a tire blowout. The fire was quickly extinguished by U.S. Forest Service and East Fork firefighters after being reported at 10:22 a.m. Monday.
Lightning is also listed as the cause of a quarter-acre fire early Monday morning near Double Spring Flat.
That fire was reported at 4:31 a.m., according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.
Sierra Front reported firefighters responded to a half-dozen different fires across the region from thunderstorms on Monday.