More Containment on Nevada-Utah Fire Near Crash Site

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
Cooler temperatures and additional crews are aiding in containment of a wildfire on the Nevada-Utah border that officials say is smaller than originally estimated.

FILE - In this file photo made July 13, 2006, a P2-V Neptune air tanker drops retardant on a wildfire southwest of Elko, Nev. An air tanker dropping retardant on a remote wildfire along the Utah-Nevada line crashed Sunday, June 3, 2012, killing both crew members, authorities said. The pilots were flying a P-2V air tanker that is owned by Neptune Aviation Services of Missoula, Mont. (AP Photo/Elko Daily Free Press, Ross Andreson, file)

CALIENTE, Nev. (AP) - Cooler temperatures and additional crews are aiding in containment of a wildfire on the Nevada-Utah border that officials say is smaller than originally estimated.

The White Rock Fire covered about 5,900 acres mid-Tuesday, down
from the 8,000 acres Bureau of Land Management authorities cited
Monday.

The fire in steep, rugged terrain is 20 percent contained. Officials expect full containment by Sunday.

Chris Hanefeld, a spokesman for the BLM's Ely District in Nevada, said a cold front moved through Tuesday, bringing erratic winds. Those winds kept firefighting aircraft grounded Tuesday morning, but flights have since resumed.

Hanefeld said the accompanying cooler temperatures are helping. He said a new incident management team also has arrived and brings additional resources to manage the fire that is burning in two
states.

Including support staff, about 325 people from various state, federal and private agencies are involved in the firefighting effort.

The blaze was sparked Friday night by lightning on the eastern edge of Nevada's Lincoln County, officials said. It jumped state lines late Saturday, and is mostly burning now in Utah, Hanefeld said.

Two pilots from Boise, Idaho, were killed Sunday when their firefighting aircraft crashed during a mission to drop retardant on the blaze.

Crews held back the flames long enough for authorities to visit the crash site and recover the bodies.

The company that owns the plane, Montana-based Neptune Aviation,
grounded its fleet afterward, but Hanefeld said Tuesday the flying ban has since been lifted on all but one plane.

He said two helicopters and one single-engine air tanker are currently being used by firefighters.

He did not know when the larger tankers would be back on scene.


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