Cooler temps, calmer winds, aid firefighters in Nevada
RENO – A local strike team responded to a wildland fire Monday that has burned more than 6,000 acres north of Reno.
The Pyramid Lake fire was 40 percent contained before the wind kicked up again, prompting the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to request reinforcements.
Firefighters from Tahoe-Douglas, Lake Valley, Incline Village stations as well as the Meeks Bay Fire Protection District with an engine rushed to the scene of the lightning-sparked blaze that broke out Thursday.
”Wind is certainly not the problem today as it was yesterday,” said Mark Struble, a fire information officer with the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center in Minden, on Monday. ”I think they’re getting a handle on it.”
Three hundred firefighters were battling the Warrior Fire near Pyramid Lake. The fire was declared fully contained at 2,500 acres on Saturday.
But winds gusting to 40 mph fanned it back to life Sunday, forcing the evacuation of the 60-space Sutcliffe RV park on Pyramid Lake’s west shore when the fire came within a mile.
Pyramid Lake is crowded with campers, boaters and anglers over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Sutcliffe, with the RV park, a marina, store and at least a couple of dozen homes, is the only community along its shoreline.
There was no immediate threat to any structures Monday and the RV campground was open, though some people tired of the smoke headed for home, Struble said.
Ten 20-person hand crews, three engines, two water trucks, four bulldozers and three helicopters were working the blaze. No serious injuries have been reported but firefighters were cautioned to watch for rattlesnakes and scorpions.
Temperatures were slightly cooler Monday, with highs only in the low 80s. The National Weather Service estimated afternoon winds would gust to only half the velocity of the day before.
Firefighters hope to have the fire fully contained by Thursday night.
As Meeks Bay firefighters headed to Nevada for support, a small fire in the Desolation Wilderness broke out in the basin back yard. The U.S. Forest Service was reportedly on the scene at that blaze.
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