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Numbers Fire likely caused by semi’s failing exhaust system

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 8:54 PM PDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 2:40 PM PDT
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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) - UPDATE JULY 13: Investigators have determined the Numbers Fire that broke out near the Pine View Estates area south of Gardnerville was likely caused by a truck’s failing exhaust system.

The fire broke out Monday, July 6, 2020 just before 7 p.m. During the investigation, several fires were located along Highway 395 that are believed to be related to the Numbers Fire.

Investigators with the East Fork Fire Protection District, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service gathered physical evidence indicating that a semi-tractor trailer truck, heading southbound on Highway 395, most likely experienced a failure in its exhaust system. Officials said this possible failure led to hot particles being discharged along the highway right-of-way, igniting dry grass and brush.

Anyone who may have additional information about a semi-tractor trailer truck seen on Highway 395 heading south at around 6:45 p.m. on July 6, 2020, in the area of the Numbers Fire, is asked to send an e-mail to 2020firetips@gmail.com.

The Numbers Fire has burned 18,340 acres and is 98% contained.

UPDATE JULY 12 9:05 A.M. Fire officials reported the Numbers Fire in Douglas County is 88 percent contained.

The fire is 18,342 acres or 28.7 square miles.

The smoke on the fire Saturday was from the fire burning interior islands of unburned vegetation inside the existing fire line.

Officials report 6,545 acres are on Bureau of Land Management land, 5,833 acres are on Bureau of Indian Affairs land, and 5,964 acres are on private land.

There is significant fire danger in the area through Monday due to high temperatures, low humidity and wind gusts that could reach 40 mph on the ridges.

Fire vehicles and heavy equipment will be in the area for several days.

Fire management will revert from a federal team to local management on Wednesday.

There is no reported cause of the fire.

The fire burned three homes and 37 outbuildings like sheds, garages or barns.

UPDATE JULY 11, 9:15 A.M. The Numbers Fire in Douglas County remained at 18,300 acres Saturday morning and 40 percent contained.

Higher winds are expected Saturday with gusts reaching 30 mph near the fire. The National Weather Service has a fire weather watch in place, mostly for Sunday and Monday, according to a Numbers Fire update. Conditions remain hot and dry. That increases fire potential from existing embers and makes new fires more likely.

Because the Numbers Fire is burning in steep terrain, air attacks are important to the fire and helicopters are used to transport food and supplies for firefighters. People who fly drones or model airplanes in the area disrupt this help.

There will be increased traffic in the area, especially in the morning and evening.

Numbers Fire map
Numbers Fire map(Bureau of Land Management)

UPDATE JULY 10, 10 P.M. The Numbers Fire southeast of Gardnerville is 18,390 acres and 40 percent contained.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Investigators ask anyone who traveled on U.S. 395 between Ridge View and Holbrook Junction on July 6 between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to contact 2020firetips@gmail.com.

UPDATE JULY 9, 8:45 P.M. The numbers fire is now 30 percent contained, fire officials said Thursday night.

The size is still listed as 18,299 acres or about 28.6 square miles.

UPDATE JULY 9, 10:45 A.M. The Numbers Fire is now estimated to be 18,299 acres. Containment remains the same at 20 percent.

Officials said crews are being flown to the upper ridgeline of the Pine Nut Mountains to limit fire spread over the ridge to the east and into Smith Valley. They say this is the area of greatest concern for additional fire growth.

In addition to the fire, crews are also battling hot, dry and breezy conditions.

Officials are asking people to be aware of increased fire traffic around the Douglas County Fairgrounds where crews are based. Pine Nut 2 and Blossom Canyon Roads are limited to residents only.

The Numbers Fire in Douglas County as seen from Kingsbury Grade.
The Numbers Fire in Douglas County as seen from Kingsbury Grade.(Mason Rogers)

UPDATE JULY 9, 7:00 A.M. The Numbers Fire has now burned 17,318 acres and remains at 20 percent containment. 40 structures, including three homes, have been burned.

All evacuations have been lifted, and U.S. 395 remains with a reduced speed limit of 45 miles per hour.

UPDATE JULY 8, 5:20 P.M. The Numbers Fire is 20 percent contained. All evacuations are lifted, but residents only are allowed in the area of Pinenut 2 Road East of Out Our Way.

There are three primary residences that burned and 27 outbuildings.

UPDATE JULY 8, 3:55 P.M. The threat to Lyon County from the Numbers Fire decreased during the day on Wednesday, Lyon County Manager Jeff Page said in a statement.

“Smith Valley Fire Protection District reports that the fire is looking much better and that the fire behavior is more favorable this afternoon,” Page said in a statement.

U.S. 395 is open but with a 45 mph speed limit.

UPDATE JULY 8, 3:30 P.M. The Numbers Fire in Douglas County is now estimated to be 17,400 acres. It remains 5 percent contained.

All evacuations have been lifted with the exception of Pinenut 2 Road East of Out Our Way..

The fire is burning in grass, brush, pinyon and juniper.

UPDATE JULY 8, 12:30 P.M. U.S. 395 is back open near SR 208 Holbrook Junction. It was closed while the Nevada Department of Transportation repaired over a mile of wooden guardrail posts burned by the Numbers Fire.

Drivers should watch for firefighters and equipment along the highway as crews work to contain the fire.

All evacuations have also been lifted with the exception of Pinenut 2 Road East of Out Our Way.

UPDATE JULY 8, 11:35 A.M. Fire investigators are looking for information on the Numbers Fire burning south of Gardnerville.

They are asking anyone who was traveling along Highway 395 between Ridge View and Holbrook Junction on July 6, 2020 around 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to send an email to 2020firetips@gmail.com.

UPDATE JULY 8, 7:30 A.M. Douglas County is reporting the Numbers Fire remains at 18,000 acres, but containment has reached 5%.

According to Incident Commander Larry Goss the majority of evacuations have lifted. “We still have a few houses on the west side of U.S. 395 that we are still securing for safety reasons, most folks should be allowed in later today.”

Officials said power has been restored and U.S. 395 is still closed. Goss said, “NDOT is continuing on an operation repairing some guard rails in the fire area, as soon as we can we are going to start working with them at least try to open enough of the highway to escort traffic.”

Goss said there is the possibility more structures may have been lost. “We are probably in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 structures, whether primary or not, we are going to be assessing more today.”

One firefighter sustained minor injuries. The fire will be turned over to a Type 2 Incident Management Team tomorrow morning.

UPDATE JULY 7, 5:15 P.M. The Numbers Fire has grown to 18,000 acres per Douglas County.

There is still no containment on the wildfire which broke out around 7 p.m. Monday, July 6.

Multiple local, state and federal agencies are working to contain the fire using dozers, handcrews and aircraft.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

Current Evacuations are as follows:

Pine View Estates • Bodie Flat • Out our Way Area • Blue Bird, Lena Way

Evacuation Location Sites:

Carson Valley Inn, 1627 U.S. Hwy 395 N, Minden, NV 89423

Phone: (775) 782-9711

Holiday Inn Express (animals welcome), 1659 NV-88, Minden, NV

Phone: (775) 782-7500

Douglas County Community and Senior Center, 1329 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville, NV

Douglas County Fairgrounds - Livestock and Domestic Pets - Pinenut Rd., Gardnerville, NV

Douglas County Animal Shelter - Domestic Pets - 921 Dump Rd., Gardnerville, NV

Current Road Closures:

395 closed at Riverview and SR208

Pinenut 2 Rd closed (Residents can come and go with valid ID)

Donations:

The Fairgrounds are not currently taking donations at this time due to COVID. Donations can be taken to the Douglas County Community and Senior Center. The County and East Fork Fire are currently accessing costs incurred by the fire and the possibility of a Fire Management Assistance Grant.

UPDATE JULY 7, 3:15 P.M. The Numbers Fire is now estimated to be 10,000 acres with no containment.

Douglas County says the community and senior center is now open to the public as an evacuation site. The community center is also accepting donations. It is located at 1329 Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville.

See a map of the burn area here.

UPDATE JULY 7, 1:20 P.M. Highway 395 just north of the California/Nevada state line in Nevada is closed due to the Numbers Fire burning south of Gardnerville.

Anyone heading north into the Gardnerville and Carson City areas will be impacted by this closure, and will be detoured to State Route 89, then State Route 88, then east back into Nevada.

CalTrans says travelers continuing on in California will continue on State Route 89 to State Route 50 near Tahoe. Trucks are prohibited on State Route 89, and are being detoured out State Route 182, just south of Bridgeport, to Nevada 208.

There is no estimated time of reopening.

Douglas County officials are asking people to stay clear of the Power Dam area. In a tweet, they said the area is not a safe viewing area for the Numbers Fire.

UPDATE JULY 7, 12:55 P.M. The Numbers Fire is now estimated to be 7,500 acres, according to the incident command team. There is no containment.

UPDATE JULY 7, 12:35 P.M. East Fork Professional Firefighters say arson investigators are on scene of the Numbers Fire but no cause has been determined.

They also confirm three fires burned into one.

Smoke from the fire is creating reduced air quality in the Carson Valley.

UPDATE JULY 7, 9:30 A.M. The Numbers Fire is now reported at 6,000 acres and the fire is still threatening 350 structures.

The increase in acreage is due to aerial mapping of the fire lines.

UPDATE JULY 7, 7:55 A.M. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help the state fight the fire.

UPDATE JULY 7, 6:11 A.M. East Fork Fire is now reporting the fire has grown to 5,000 acres. One home and 10 outbuildings have been burned and 350 structures are threatened.

Officials say there is 0% containment and no injuries have been reported. The goal for firefighters today is to defend the structures threatened by this fire.

UPDATE JULY 7, 4:00 A.M. According to East Fork Fire, the Numbers Fire is now estimated to be at least 4,500 acres.

UPDATE JULY 6, 11:55 P.M. Additional evacuation sites have been set up at the following locations:

Holiday Inn Express at 1659 NV-88, Minden, NV 89423. Phone: (775) 782-7500

Douglas County Fairgrounds - Livestock and Domestic Pets, Pinenut Road, Gardnerville, NV 89410

UPDATE JULY 6, 10 P.M. The Numbers Fire has grown to more than 2,500 acres in the Pine Nuts, according to Douglas County.

Officials said 911 calls have gone out for most of the eastern part of the Valley and the Pine Nuts.

Current evacuations are as follows:

Pine View Estates

Bodie Flat

Out Our Way Area

Evacuation Location Site

Carson Valley Inn ( Due to COVID )

Address: 1627 U.S. Hwy 395 N, Minden, NV 89423

Phone: (775) 782-9711

Current Road Closures

395 closed at Riverview and SR208.

Pinenut closed at Arroyo (please stay clear of these roads)

NV Energy has shut off power in the area for safety reasons at the request of the Douglas County Fire Department. About 600 customers affected.

For the latest updates from Douglas County, click here.

UPDATE 9:32 P.M. An evacuation notice has been issued for the “Out Our Way” area due to the Numbers Fire.

Caltrans reports the U.S. 395 closure is about 15 miles north of Topaz Lake.

The Reno Fire Department is assisting fire crews.

UPDATE 9:05 P.M. An evacuation site has been set up at the Carson Valley Inn for anyone needing a place to stay due to the Numbers Fire.

It’s one of at least two fires burning south of Gardnerville, prompting voluntary evacuations.

ORIGINAL STORY: At least two brush fires are burning in the Bodie Flat area along U.S. 395 south of Gardnerville.

Sierra Front reports the fires broke out just after 7 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 2020.

Douglas County issued a recommended evacuation for residents in the Pine View Estates area. There is no word yet as to how big the fires are.

NDOT reports U.S. 395 is closed near Rockbottom Road to Spring Valley Drive.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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