Fire on Mount Charleston Grows; 520 Evacuated

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UPDATE, 1:57pm, Saturday:

Fire officials say unusually dry trees and vegetation are fueling a raging wildfire near Las Vegas that has prompted evacuations of over 500 people and left a thick blanket of smoke over the city.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Thomas said Saturday that the lightning-caused fire on Mount Charleston has grown to nearly 11,000 acres, or 17 square miles, and there has been no containment of it so far.

No damage to structures or injuries have been reported.

More than 400 firefighters are battling the blaze northwest of Las Vegas with the help of an aerial assault involving five helicopters and five air tankers.

The National Weather Service is calling for a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon around Mt. Charleston, with a high in the low 80s and winds of up to 20 mph.

To the north, crews are being hampered by sustained winds as they fight a wildfire that has grown to over 7,000 acres, or 11 square miles, in the Pine Nut Mountains near Gardnerville. The blaze is only 20 percent contained.

UPDATE, 10:00am Saturday:

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A fire burning in Mount Charleston has grown to about 6,000 acres and prompted 520 residents to evacuate.

Forest Service officials say the Trout and Kyle canyon communities northwest of Las Vegas are under mandatory evacuations, while Lee Canyon is open only to residents.

The fire remained completely uncontained by early Friday afternoon.

Smoke from the Carpenter 1 fire prompted Clark County officials to issue an air quality advisory through Friday in the Las Vegas valley. Officials say they expect winds up to 35 mph and extreme fire behavior.

The lightning-sparked blaze broke out Monday. No injuries or structure damage has been reported.

Roads and trails in the area are closed, as is all access to Mount Charleston Peak.

More than 300 crew members are involved in the firefighting effort.

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Residents of a small mountain community northwest of Las Vegas have been ordered to evacuate as firefighters continue to struggle against a large blaze on Mount Charleston.

A fire spokeswoman says many residents of Trout Canyon have already left, but a mandatory evacuation was issued late Thursday as a precaution.

Firefighting efforts Thursday focused on reducing fuels near homes by setting back fires. No homes have been lost.

The Red Cross has set up an evacuation center at Hafen Elementary School in Pahrump.

The lightning-sparked blaze broke out Monday and has burned more than 1,100 acres. There is zero containment.

Roads and trails in the area are closed, as is all access to Mount Charleston Peak.

About 150 firefighters are on the lines.