Martin Fire fully contained; rewards total $20,000

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WINNEMUCCA, Nev. (KOLO)-- UPDATE: Martin Fire is now fully contained. The Winnemucca BLM will begin Emergency Stabilization Rehabilitation or ESR efforts.

ORIGINAL: The Bureau of Land Management says the Martin Fire, which stretches from Humboldt County into Elko County, has burned 435,569 acres, or 680 square miles. The fire is 97 percent contained.

It started burning about 50 miles northwest of Winnemucca July 5, 2018.

Combined, there is $20,000 in rewards offered for information about who started the fire.

Family offers $10k reward for info about cause of Martin Fire

Snyder Plumbing of Winnemucca is offering $1,000 and Humboldt County is offering $7,000.

The Bureau of Land Management is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the fire. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Division are requesting help from the public, saying the fire was human-caused. Anyone who may have been camping or in the vicinity of Martin Creek or Martin Creek Canyon the night of July 4, or anyone who might have information on the person or people who may have been responsible for the start of the Martin Fire is asked to contact:

Humboldt County Secret Witness: 775-623-6969.
Or online at the HCSO Report Suspicious Activity web page.
Or the BLM Law Enforcement Tips Line: 775-885-6117.

“This fire has damaged and affected ranches and numerous resources,” says BLM Winnemucca District Manager Ester McCullough. “We would like to thank our partners who have assisted us with the suppression efforts and continue to help bring the fire under control.”

Wind and highly flammable cheatgrass and sagebrush are pushing the fire, says Norm Rooker, fire information officer for the Martin Fire. There were no heavy snows this year to push down the cheat grass, so it is standing tall and there is more than 200 percent of the normal amount.

“We’re calling it gasoline on a straw,” Rooker said.

All the factors are allowing the fire to preheat vegetation as it moves along, helping it burn more quickly.

There are no reports of injuries or structures damaged, but the Paiute Pipeline that carries natural gas through the area is a concern, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Crews from the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the Nevada Division of Forestry and volunteer firefighters are fighting the fire.


The Midas Mine View of the Martin Fire sent by KOLO viewer Sparks