Residents returning to Mount Charleston near Vegas | NevadaAppeal.com

Residents returning to Mount Charleston near Vegas

Associated Press

Long-time Lee Canyon resident Marcel Barel rides his bike up state road 156, Tuesday, July 16, 2013, near Las Vegas. Despite a mandatory evacuation order to leave with a wildfire burning in nearby Kyle Canyon last week, Barel stayed citing his comfort with his knowledge of the mountain and its canyons. A sweeping wildfire that threatened mountain homes near Las Vegas was 80 percent contained, while crews prepared Tuesday to allow a final wave of residents back to neighborhoods evacuated 11 days ago.(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
AP | AP

LAS VEGAS — Residents are heading back to mountain hamlets once threatened by a massive wildfire on Mount Charleston northwest of Las Vegas.

Officials reported 85 percent containment Wednesday of the 43.6-square-mile Carpenter 1 fire, and said more than 700 firefighters and support personnel are still working to snuff out hot spots.

Las Vegas police were operating checkpoints for more than 400 people due to return to the Old Town, Rainbow and Echo communities in Kyle Canyon.

Hikers and sightseers won’t be allowed into the area until Friday.

Fire officials reported a second injury Tuesday among crews battling hot, dry and gusty winds. No new structures were damaged.

The fire was sparked by lightning July 1 in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. The cost of fighting it is approaching $18 million.