Wildfire now at 730 acres east of Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Wildfire now at 730 acres east of Carson City

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
Firefighters battle the Badger fire Tuesday afternoon in Brunswick Canyon. The fire is fueled by piñon and juniper trees and cheatgrass. Cathleen Allison Nevada Appeal

Fire crews continue to battle a wildland fire in Brunswick Canyon that has consumed 730 acres as of 7:30 a.m. today.

The Badger fire is burning in pinon and juniper trees on federal land in the southwest portion of Brunswick Canyon, said Lee Miller, spokeswoman with the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center. Brunswick Canyon is about four miles east of Carson City.

Miller said nine engines, one bulldozer, six crews and seven aircraft were working the blaze. Two additional tankers were ordered by 7 p.m., she said.

Canyon winds were estimated at 10 or 15 mph, gaining speed as they reached the summits. The fire, that started at 3:37 p.m., was an estimated mile and a half long at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, a fire west of Carson City between Highway 50 and Clear Creek Road burned eight-tenths of an acre before fire crews quickly snuffed it out.

Mike Wilde, Carson Ranger District assistant fire management officer for the U.S. Forestry Service, said the cause is under investigation.

“It burned right up to homes, but didn’t do any damage,” said Wilde.

The first call came in about 11:45 a.m. At noon, both east and west lanes of Highway 50 West were shut down to allow fire rigs access. About 12:30 p.m., the highway was reopened and hand crews were mopping up.

Wilde said the fire burned in cheatgrass and brush on land owned by the Forest Service. Search-and-rescue crews were preparing to aid in evacuating homes and the state-owned Clear Creek Youth Center when the fire was contained.

Terry Phillips, who lives at the youth camp, said she had no idea the fire had started until she saw the fire trucks on the road just south of her home.

“At first, I thought they were just practicing,” she said. “Then the kids and I smelled the smoke.”

She didn’t see anything that might have told her what started the blaze, but said she suspects a cigarette or something similar tossed from a car traveling on Highway 50.

“Once school is out, there are a lot of kids and parties around here,” she said. “They throw their beer bottles all over.”

Personnel from the Carson City Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, East Fork Fire District, Nevada Division of Forestry and Tahoe Douglas Fire responded. A helicopter and airtanker were ordered but never used.

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213. Reporter Susie Vasquez contributed to this story.