Wildland fires in Reno area keep firefighters busy

RENO - Firefighters were mopping up more than a dozen wildland fires Monday while bracing for another round of predicted thunderstorms and potential fire-causing lightning strikes.

''Everything right now is contained,'' Steve Edgar, a dispatcher with the Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators in Minden said early Monday. ''There's no active smoke.''

Crews were monitoring some of the larger blazes to guard against flare ups.

''We'll be looking for new smokes in the general areas that we had last night,'' Edgar said.

Fifteen to 20 fires ranging in size from an acre to 250 acres broke out in the Reno area on Sunday. Most were caused by lightning strikes after thunderstorms rumbled across the region.

No homes were threatened Sunday evening, but some homes were threatened earlier in the day by a blaze near Palomino Valley 20 miles northeast of Reno. That fire was later contained after charring 25 acres.

Bureau of Land Management spokesman Steve Hedeman said the largest fire blackened 250 acres in the Pah Rah Mountains just east of the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course in Sparks.

Investigators said that fire was human caused but the exact cause has not been determined.

Two air tankers rotated between the Pah Rah and Palomino Valley-area fires and helped stop their spread, Hedeman said.

Firefighters also battled smaller blazes in Hungry Valley, Lemmon Valley, Verdi, near Peavine Mountain and near Hallelujah Junction.

''We're having a very busy day. It's a sign that the fire season is upon us and people need to be careful,'' Hedeman said.

The National Weather Service said the chance of afternoon thunderstorms would remain in the forecast for the rest of the week.

''We're expecting more of the same. Hopefully, there'll be moisture with it,'' Edgar said of the weather outlook.

Most of the fires on Sunday burned brush but some burned pinyon and juniper trees.

No injuries were reported.


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