Lyon County authorities search for injured woodcutter

YERINGTON - The Lyon County Sheriff's Office launched an all-out effort to find a woodcutter who may have cut off his own leg Thursday.

A man called the county's dispatch center saying he was in the woods and believed he had cut his leg off with a chain saw. The call disconnected before the dispatcher could ascertain the man's location.

"He said he was dizzy, there was lots of blood, and then the phone went dead," Capt. Jeff Page said. "He sounded pretty distressed, pretty shook up."

Page said anyone who knows of a man who may have been wood cutting in Lyon County or the surrounding areas should call the Lyon County Dispatch at (775) 463-6620.

A tip from a television viewer led searchers to the Sunrise Pass area east of Johnson Lane at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. A caller said he knew of a man who often went out alone to cut wood in the area and who often had problems with his cell phone, Page said. The caller also was unable to reach the man on his home phone.

"It's the only lead we have," Page said.

Two Search and Rescue helicopters were searching the Sweetwater and Pine Nut Mountain ranges and ground units were searching U.S. Forest Service roads, Page said in a press release.

Page said county communications staff members contacted the telephone company to try and trace the call, but a trace was not possible.

He also said the Forest Service has provided a list of names and phone numbers of those with wood cutting permits, and the county's dispatch staff was calling each name to verify the person is safe.

Search efforts from the Nevada Army National Guard and the Washoe County Search and Rescue could not be launched due to bad weather.

Nevada State Parks rangers have searched the Lahontan State Park and surrounding areas to no avail, Page said. The search effort would continue through 9 p.m. Thursday. After that, the decision to continue searching would be based on weather conditions.

Local ranches, as well as surrounding counties and states, have been notified of the search effort, Page said.

Lyon County covers 2,200 square miles and stretches from east of Interstate 80 south to the California line near Topaz Lake.

Looking for the man was "a proverbial needle in a haystack," Page said.

You can help

Anyone with information on a person who may have been cutting wood in Lyon County is asked to call the Lyon County Sheriff's Dispatch at (775) 463-6620.


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