Carter Springs fire smoldering in Pine Nuts |

Carter Springs fire smoldering in Pine Nuts

by Kurt Hildebrand

by Kurt HildebrandNV Energy linemen work to restore power near Double Spring Summit in the Pine Nuts.

Linemen are working among the smoldering husks of pinon trees to restore power lines downed by the 3,454-acre Carter Springs fire.

Firefighters have a line around 35 percent of the fire by 2 p.m. and hope to have the blaze contained by 6 p.m. Tuesday and out by Saturday.

While Highway 395 is open, motorists are asked to watch out for both NV Energy and firefighting apparatus as they travel through the Pine Nuts.

Unburned pockets of fuel are generating some smoke and flames from the blaze, but not nearly at the level visible on Friday, when a huge plume of smoke rose from the fire.

First reported at about 12:30 p.m. Friday near the east side of Highway 395 near Double Spring Summit, the fire quickly grew, endangering homes on the west side of the highway. Highway 395 was closed for nearly 18 hours while firefighters stopped the blaze. No structures have been lost. The cost of fighting the fire is estimated to be $750,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The number of firefighters is down to 250, with nine handcrews, four helicopters, eight engines and three water tenders.

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Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch spokeswoman Helen Frazier said firefighters were preparing for breezy conditions this afternoon.

“Increasing winds today will be over the fire area,” she said. “Firefighters are taking precautionary measures for the wind event.”

The National Weather Service is calling for southwest winds around 20 mph, gusting to 35 mph through the day. Winds will decrease tonight to 15-25 mph and then down to 5-15 mph after midnight.

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