More than a dozen lightning-caused wildfires are burning tens of thousands of acres of northern Nevada this evening. The fires have closed a stretch of Interstate 80 near Elko for a second day, forced evacuations in some rural areas and even claimed most of the training grounds at a state fire academy.
Firefighters fear erratic winds on the heels of another round of
lightning-packed thunderstorms tonight will add to their work,
which already stretched from the heavily timbered western front of
the Sierra Nevada near Reno to the sage- and grass-filled rangeland
near Elko, 300 miles east.
The fire burning about 15 miles northwest of Reno has consumed
nearly one-thousand acres.
More than a half-dozen new fires were reported late this
afternoon in a variety of areas around Reno, Carson City and
They include fires north of Reno in Palomino Valley, Lemmon
Valley and Spanish Springs, northwest of Verdi in Dog Valley and
east of Reno in Fernley. Fires also are reported east of Carson
City near Mound House, northeast of Carson City at McClellan Peak
and in the American Flats area near Virginia City.
Evacuations have been ordered in two rural communities near Elko
and flames burned within one-quarter mile of homes about 15 miles
northwest of Reno just west of the Nevada-California line. But so
far, no injuries have been reported, no structures have burned and
no homes are immediately threatened.
The biggest fire in the state this afternoon has now surpassed
40-thousand acres about 20 miles west of Elko near Carlin, where
the University of Nevada Fire Science Academy is located along
Academy Director Denise Baclawski (Buh-CLAW-skee) told The
Associated Press that the flames burned 350 acres of the training
grounds on the 426-acre campus. She says the fire came within
several hundred yards of the main academy building housing
classrooms, sleeping quarters and offices.
She told A-P, quoting now, "We do a lot of real-life fire
training but we never expected this."