Carson Fire Fully Contained, Acreage Count Up

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A fast-moving wildland fire that destroyed 15 homes in Nevada's capital city and burned more than 8,700 acres was fully contained Tuesday, fire officials said.

Cynthia Sage of the U.S. Forest Service said about 700 firefighters are still working on what's left of the Waterfall fire, which erupted last Wednesday in Kings Canyon, on the western edge of Carson City.

Sage said that while the fire is 100 percent contained, it won't be considered under full control until there are no more fire flare-ups or smoke. That could take a couple of weeks.

"There are still some minor flare-ups, so we're working on suppression over the next several days. But it's not expected to increase in size," Sage said.

Besides the mop-up efforts, officials have announced plans for seeding and tree-planting on the hills above the town. Rehabilitation actually began Sunday with creation of artificial terraces to slow runoff this fall.

Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko said Monday he's working to get $500,000 in local funding approved for the rehabilitation effort, adding that additional funding from Congress "has to come pretty quickly."

Gov. Kenny Guinn has said that a 75-25 funding plan will ensure that federal funding sources cover three-quarters of the state's fire suppression costs. Combined state, federal and local suppression costs now total $5.6 million and are still increasing.

Value of homes and other property lost in the fire hasn't been determined yet, but is expected to easily add several million dollars more to the overall costs.

At the height of the firefighting effort, more than 1,900 firefighters were on the lines. After burning the homes, one business and numerous barns, garages and other buildings on Wednesday and Thursday, the fire gradually moved upslope and away from the town.

Officials say the fire was caused by an illegal campfire that could have been smoldering for several days above a small waterfall in Kings Canyon.


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