Lightening-sparked wildfires continue

Photo by Rick GunnOne of the hundreds involved in fighting the Andrews fire takes a break from the effort on Thursday near Rhodes Road.

Photo by Rick GunnOne of the hundreds involved in fighting the Andrews fire takes a break from the effort on Thursday near Rhodes Road.

PLEASANT VALLEY - Residents could breathe easier on Thursday after a night that saw flames from the Andrews fire come within 75 feet of their homes.

Callie Karadanis, 15, came home from Lake Tahoe on Wednesday to find fire crews bulldozing a fire break around the back of her house off Paddlewheel Lane.

"It looked like layers of fire. It looked like hell," she said.

According to the Sierra Front Dispatch Center in Minden, the fire came within 75 feet of several homes off Andrew and Paddlewheel lanes.

William A. Rucker, who lives on Andrew Lane, worked a fire line in 1932 and said he wasn't worried about the proximity of the flames.

"Fortunately, the wind favored them (firefighters) all the way," Rucker said.

Tom McCoun, station captain for North Tree fire, had his equipment parked on Andrew Lane.

"With wind and thunderheads building up, these staged cats (bulldozers) could be here ready if any more fires pop up," McCoun said.

Kit Robinson, who works as a freelance photographer shooting fires in the summer, said 50 to 100 residents watched Wednesday night as the fire crept closer to their homes.

More than 200 firefighters worked through the night to defend homes located north of the largest of three fires burning on the hillside above Highway 395.

"The winds kicked up like we said it could and it's flaring up again," said Jim Wilkins, fire information officer for the Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators. "We have a saying: 'If you can't walk around the fire barefoot, it ain't out.'"

Thursday evening, Wilkins said there were a couple of acres moving down into a canyon in a northeasterly direction of the Andrews fire that had flared up again.

The Andrews fire was caused by a lightning strike approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday and has burned just under 600 acres, Wilkins said.

It was one of three fires still burning Thursday evening above Pleasant Valley.

The Pleasant Valley Complex fire consists of Pleasant, Andrews and Toll fires.

As of Thursday evening, the 595-acre Andrews Fire had a line 55 percent around it. The 75-acre Pleasant fire was completely surrounded and the 90-acre Toll fire had a line around about half of it.

Air tankers flying in from Minden-Tahoe Airport were used to extinguish flare ups on Thursday.

According to the dispatch center, the Antelope fire north of Reno had burned more than 900 acres and was 30 percent contained as of Thursday evening.

Bulldozers and hand crews continue to finish containment lines and mop up hot spots.

There have been several smoke plumes reported on the Palomino fire, also north of Reno, that are being investigated by Bureau of Land Management and Reno fire units. Both the Antelope and Palomino fires also started during Wednesday's lightning storms.

Firefighters are working two new fires that flared up on Thursday.

The 30-acre Cart Spring Fire in the Dogskin Mountains near Winnemucca Valley is growing.

The Fish Fire near Turtle Mountain in Honey Lake Valley was reported at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. According to a Minden Dispatch report, the fire had grown to 50 to 100 acres and was very active. Homes and powerlines are being threatened by the blaze.


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