Kurt Hildebrand

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July 20, 2013
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Bison fire contained

With the 24,136-acre Bison fire all but out, about 50 firefighters continue to rehabilitate and patrol the area, a far cry from the more than 1,000 assigned during the fire’s peak on July 10.

As of Tuesday morning, six engines and two hand crews were still in the Pine Nuts, looking for hot spots, and making sure the fire stays out.

On Monday, management of the fire, called the largest recorded in Western Nevada history, was transferred to a lower echelon team.

According to officials, four firefighters were injured fighting the blaze, with two twisted knees, a twisted ankle and a person with breathing problems.

The $7,729,660 cost to fight the fire mostly went to pay for the more than a dozen tankers and helicopters.

Started by a lightning strike 3:30 p.m. July 4, the fire quickly grew out of control, prompting a call for the evacuation of 20 homes in the Pine Nut Creek area. Firefighters were making progress on July 6, when the fire was only 7,000 acres and 30 percent contained. Gusty southwest winds on July 7 pushed the fire through heavy piñon forest in Pine Nut Valley, and across the crest near Mount Siegel, the highest point between Carson and Smith valleys. The fire burned actively through the nights of July 6 and 7, jumping Sunrise Pass Road and burning down to Artesia Lake in Smith Valley.

Residents along Artesia Boulevard said they could see the flames both nights, and on July 9, they were asked to evacuate 78 homes after the fire threatened to burn through Pipeline Canyon and into the neighborhood.

Nearly 400 firefighters and a helicopter base were established in Smith Valley to fight the eastern flank, successfully stopping the fire.

Fire officials are asking that residents stay clear of the burned areas for the next few days while firefighters finish their work.

In Southern Nevada, Kyle Canyon residents and business owners are expected to be allowed back in today after the 27,881-acre Carpenter 1 fire reached 80 percent containment.

Firefighters hope to have the Carpenter fire contained by Friday, according to an update issued on Tuesday.

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The Record Courier Updated Jul 16, 2013 06:08PM Published Jul 20, 2013 06:59PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.