Six firefighters injured in wildfire northwest of Winnemucca |

Six firefighters injured in wildfire northwest of Winnemucca

Tom Gardner

RENO (AP) – Six firefighters have been injured battling a wildfire in remote north-central Nevada, one of more than a dozen lightning-sparked fires that have blackened more than 110 square miles of the state in the past week.

Officials said preliminary indications were that wind – possibly a dust devil – swept flames over the firefighters as they fought the fire Tuesday.

Two of the six firefighters, all members of the Eldorado National Forest Hotshot crew based near Placerville, Calif., were flown to the burn center at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, about 350 air miles to the south.

Frank Mosbacher, public information officer in Placerville, said the two hospitalized firefighters, who were initially treated at Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca, received first- and second-degree burns over 50 percent of their bodies. They were expected to undergo treatment for seven to 10 days.

The other four firefighters were released after being treated at the hospital in Winnemucca for minor burns, blisters and smoke inhalation.

A federal interagency serious accident investigation team was scheduled to arrive in Winnemucca on Wednesday.

“Whenever injuries such as these occur during firefighting operations, a top priority is to learn everything we can about them so that we can work to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” BLM Nevada State Fire Management Officer Rex McKnight said.

The New York Peak fire has burned some 6,000 acres of brush and trees.

The largest fires burning in the state are the Hambly fire, which has covered 25,000 acres 13 miles northeast of Hiko, and the 15,000-acre Range fire 16 miles southeast of Hiko at 15,000 acres, according to BLM spokesman Chris Hanefeld in Ely. Together, they total more than 62 square miles – about half the size of Las Vegas. One of the country’s top fire management teams has assumed command over the fires.

In southern Nevada, lightning touched off a few small fires in the Black Mountains south of Henderson, but the thunderstorms also helped fire crews gain 40 percent containment of the 1,200-acre Picnic fire near Lovell Canyon in the Rainbow Mountain wilderness.

Northeast of Las Vegas, a 2,500-acre fire was threatening communication towers on Virgin Peak.

Major fires close to containment to the north are the Trident fire nine miles southeast of Denio at 5,507 acres, the Springer fire 25 miles southeast of Battle Mountain at 4,500 acres, the 2,000-acre Winters fire 50 miles northeast of Winnemucca, the 9 Mile fire 36 miles southwest of Montello at 1,700 acres and the 4,215-acre Marble fire 20 miles west of Wells.

A 4,000 acre blaze 25 miles southeast of Battle Mountain and a 1,183-acre fire 8 miles north of the ghost town of Adaven southwest of Ely were being monitored, but not actively fought.

As of Monday, wildland fires this season, including prescribed burns, had blackened 309,694 acres in Nevada, equaling nearly 484 square miles, or about the size of Los Angeles.

On the Net:

National Interagency Fire Center:

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.