Fire Contained, Investigators Searching For Clues

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

Fire Officials say the Voltaire Fire is now 100 percent contained.

The fire broke out about 4:15 yesterday in the Toiyobe National Forest behind the Albertsons in Carson City and burned about 35 acres.

Nearly 150 firefighters were called to battle the fire. No homes or business were threatened and no injuries were reported.

Investigators say it appears the fire started in the cab or bed of a pick-up truck that was in the area.

We know the truck was driven by 35-year-old Damon Smith of Carson City. He had misdemeanor warrants out for his arrest prior to this incident.

But, it's still unclear why a fire started inside his truck, and if it was connected to the Voltaire Fire.

Investigators are looking very closely at the pick-up truck, driven by Damon Smith of Carson City. It may hold clues as to the cause of Monday's fire in Voltaire Canyon.

Smith was able to free himself from the car before it burned up - but did suffer minor injuries.

After he was treated for burns, Smith was booked into the Carson City Jail on two misdemeanor arrest warrants, issued by the Lyon County Sheriff's Office. One was failure to appear on drug charges and the other was violation of a protection order for a domestic situation.

The Voltaire fire started just after four o'clock at five acres . . . but then jumped to 35 acres by nighfall. It burned mostly in sagebrush and bitter brush, away from people's homes along Highway 50.

A strong air attack with two helicopters and a 2,500-gallon air tanker kept the flames in check.

Still, two hand crews stayed overnight cleaning up hot spots and making sure the fire didn't spread.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt and nobody had to be evacuated.

Thirty-five firefighters will remain on the scene tonight with one engine.

The U.S. Forest Service say it expects to have "control" of the fire this evening. What that means is that it's unlikely the fire will escape its containment line.

What is happening to Damon Smith?

Carson City Sheriff Kenneth Furlong says he will be transferred to the Lyon County jail in a day or so to face those unrelated charges.

Investigators are also going back to where they found Smith's truck, trying to gather more evidence. Then, they will re-interview him to see if what they uncover supports his previous statements.


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