Fire burns 1,600 acres, seven structures |

Fire burns 1,600 acres, seven structures

Tribune News Service
Tribune News ServiceThe view of the Topaz Ranch Estates fire from Risue Canyon.

A fast-moving wildland fire, whipped up by 40-mph winds, tore through 1,600 acres and destroyed seven structures Tuesday at Topaz Ranch Estates.

Gov. Brian Sandoval toured the area after Douglas County commissioners met in a special meeting to declare the fire an emergency.

There were no injuries reported Tuesday, and a hiker was rescued from the area by a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office after he became trapped by the fast-moving blaze.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the fire was nowhere near containment.

More than 200 personnel were on scene utilizing four air tankers, helicopters, water tenders bull dozers and seven engines. Most of the damage was centered around Slate, Sandstone and Pinenut Way. Firefighters responded from agencies of East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of Forestry, US Forest Service, Lyon County, Alpine County and Mono County.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Spokesman Sgt. Jim Halsey said the fire may have started when a controlled burn on Sunday afternoon rekindled. Winds of nearly 50 mph fanned the flames.

The fire was being fought from air with water drops by helicopter and by ground by five strike teams.

Voluntary resident evacuations were requested in the area. The Topaz Ranch Estates Community Center on Carter Drive was the evacuation center. Evacuated large animals can be taken to the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Gardnerville. Small pets to the animal shelter in Gardnerville.

Evacuation affected Pinenut Way east to Spattercone Road out toward Granite Way and Highway 208.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies and Search and Rescue members are on scene assisting with evacuations.

A hiker who reported being surrounded by fire about a half mile north of Opal was rescued by firefighters during the blaze.

A red flag warning was in effect until 9 p.m. Tuesday in central Nevada for gusty winds and low humidity.

Highway 208 was closed to all but local residents, who were allowed in to remove their property and animals. Large animals were evacuated to the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Pine Nut Road in Gardnerville. Pets were evacuated to the Douglas County Animal Shelter, which is across Pine Nut Road from the Fairgrounds.

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