Crews Hope To Contain New Wildfire In Elko County

Firefighters stayed busy over the weekend in northeastern Nevada as an old wildfire flared up and a new blaze was sparked by lightning.

Strong winds created a scare by pushing the Highway 93 Complex
fire five miles southeast of Jackpot over containment lines and burning about 50 more acres Saturday, said U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Mike Brown.

Crews quickly responded to the flare-up and hoped to fully contain it by 8 p.m. Sunday, he said. The blaze had been in mop-up late Friday after blackening some 80,533 acres, or about 126 square miles, since July 6.

Elsewhere in northeastern Nevada, another round of thunderstorms
touched off a fire Saturday about 20 miles west of Montello.

The wind-whipped blaze quickly spread to about 1,000 acres. It was about 50 percent contained Sunday morning and was expected to be fully contained Sunday night, Brown said.

"We got lucky in that we were able to divert resources departing the Highway 93 Complex directly to the fire," said Bill Roach, manager of the Elko Interagency Dispatch Center.

"Fortunately, we had enough air resources to slow the fire's spread until ground crews could get there."

Near the California line north of Reno, a 4,368-acre fire in Balls Canyon was 97 percent contained Sunday morning and was expected to be fully surrounded Sunday night.

It was among a string of blazes touched off by lightning Tuesday around Reno, and forced the closure of a section of U.S. Highway 395.

Nevada has had 322 wildfires so far this year. In just the past week, about two dozen fires scorched 185,000 acres, or 289 square miles, in northern Nevada.

"Obviously, our concern is we're early. It's only July, and we still have the worst yet to come," Kurt Latipow, Washoe County fire services coordinator stated.