Firefighters battled blazes across northern Nevada sparked by lightning and fueled by wind and dry vegetation earlier this week. Officials have been able to save multiple homes from being destroyed and the fire danger level has been deemed as high according to officials.
Winnemucca Rural Fire Department (WRFD)
WRFD Fire Chief Torrey Sheen reported that on Tuesday evening at 4 p.m., six WRFD units and 16 firefighters responded to a brush fire just beyond Cyanco near the railroad tracks. Sheen said there was no danger to the facility and the brush fire was extinguished after burning just a couple of acres. The department was on scene for approximately an hour and a half.
Later that evening at 7:42 p.m., the department responded to a call of a brush fire where lightning had struck next to a house on Maxine Drive and William Avenue. Sheen said that multiple individuals were evacuated from the home without any reported injuries while firefighters battled the blaze.
Two brush units from the Winnemucca Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) and two Bureau of Land Management (BLM) units also responded. Sheen said there were no injuries, all homes in the area were kept safe and a camp trailer was destroyed.
“We got it out pretty quickly and it was intense because the wind was shifting with the downflow of the thunderstorm,” said Sheen. “We kept it to about three acres and a camp trailer was completely destroyed. We had a lot of help from the Sheriff’s Office to get people out and to safety.”
Sheen said they were on scene for almost two hours and had 23 firefighters and 10 units from the WRFD on scene.
“I think what we saw once again on this fire is that defensible space works,” said Sheen. “Both of the structures that mostly would have been impacted had some defensible space and that made our job easier overall.”
Defensible space constitutes areas with minimal to no vegetation, also known as a fire break. Sheen recommends 20-30 feet of defensible space around the perimeter of a residential structure but said that any defensible space is helpful to firefighters when attempting to save a structure from the pathway of a fire.
Sheen said the fire danger in the Winnemucca Rural Fire District has been deemed to be high currently. A high-class rating according to the Wildland Fire Assessment System means that all fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes, unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape, fires spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common. High-intensity burning may develop on slopes or in concentrations of fine fuels and fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small.
Bureau of Land
According to an update on the BLM - Nevada Facebook page, multiple new wildfires started across northern Nevada and in Humboldt County since Monday. The following are fires and updated information in and around Humboldt County as of Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. on the Central Nevada Interagency Dispatch Center (see website below).
• Monday just after midnight – BLM ground resources responded to a 0.3-acre wildfire off Big Foot Lane in McDermitt, reported to be controlled at 2:14 a.m.
• Monday 7:34 p.m. – Federal ground resources responded to a wildfire approximately 26 miles southwest of Battle Mountain in the Buffalo Valley area that burned approximately 6,647 acres. Reported estimated control on July 24 (Wednesday) at 8:00 p.m.
• Monday 7:45 p.m. – Federal and state air and ground resources responded to a wildfire approximately 12 miles southwest of Winnemucca that burned approximately 120.3 acres. Estimated control on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.
• Monday 8:56 p.m. – BLM ground resources responded to a 2.6 acre wildfire north of Golconda reported being controlled Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.
• Monday 9:25 p.m. - BLM ground resources responded to a 121-acre wildfire in Flag canyon approximately 26 miles west of Battle Mountain, reported controlled at 11:11 a.m. on Wednesday.
• Monday 9:33 p.m. – BLM ground resources responded to a 1,105-acre wildfire in the Buffalo Valley approximately 25 miles southeast of Battle Mountain, reported controlled at 11:11 a.m. on Wednesday.
• Monday 10:00 p.m. – BLM ground resources responded to a 30-acre wildfire near highway 140 and Highway 95 approximately 34 miles north of Winnemucca, reported to be controlled Wednesday at 8:43 a.m.
• Monday 10:34 p.m. – BLM ground resources responded to a 1,540-acre wildfire approximately 27 miles southeast of Winnemucca near Sheep and Panther Creek, estimated to be controlled Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.
• Tuesday 1:02 a.m. – BLM ground resources responded to a 2.11 acre wildfire approximately 2 miles southwest of Orovada, reported controlled Tuesday at 6:40 p.m.
• Tuesday 1:24 a.m. – BLM ground resources responded to a 1,399.6 acre fire off Home Ranch Road approximately 6 miles north of Orovada, reported controlled Tuesday at 7:39 p.m.
• Tuesday 9 a.m. – Federal resources responded to a .28-acre wildfire in Dry Canyon approximately 5 miles east of Winnemucca reported to be controlled Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.
• Tuesday 10:45 a.m. – BLM resources responded to a 111.2-acre wildfire on north Key Road approximately 28 miles south of McDermitt, reported to be controlled Wednesday at 8:28 a.m.
• Tuesday 11:22 a.m. – Federal air and ground resources reported to a 10-acre wildfire in the Rock Creek area, west of Orovada, estimated to be controlled Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
• Tuesday 11:13 a.m. – Federal air and ground resources responded to a 10-acre wildfire near Cedar Canyon approximately 42 miles southwest of Battle Mountain, estimated to be controlled Thursday at 10:00 a.m.
Current fire information can be found online at www.wildcad.net/WCNVCNC.htm and www.Nevadafireinfo.org.