Meeting tonight on Jackass Fire

Fire officials have scheduled a meeting at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Wellington Community Center to provide updates on the Jackass Fire.

Fire information officer Tom Crawford said the meeting was open to residents of the communities affected by the fire which had consumed 6,315 acres as of 11 a.m. today.

Officials said the fire was 30 percent contained and expected 100 percent containment by 6 p.m. Friday.

The fire should be under control by July 24.

The fire has been burning since a lightning strike July 17 in the remote area south of Wellington.

The blaze has destroyed 9 square miles of pinon-juniper and cheatgrass. No structures were destroyed, but officials were concerned about threats to sage grouse nesting and breeding habitat in the area and cultural resources.

Topaz Lake Fire Chief Dave Thomas and his crew were relieved this morning after a 20-hour shift standing by the homes scattered along Eastside Road heading toward Risue Canyon.

Thomas said heavy rains that fell for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon as a result of severe thunderstorms over Antelope Valley went a long way towards subduing the fire.

"It rained so hard we thought there wouldn't be any paint left on the engine," Thomas said. "Lightning was striking all around us. One strike came down right near the engine and scared the (....) out of us." Thomas said. "Right then a woman came out of the house we were watching and we had to tell her to go back inside because of the lightning activity. She told us that the house had been hit by lightning, too. When we went inside we could see the damage of black streak marks running down one of the walls."

No additional damage was reported, Thomas said.

"The fire is pretty well out on our side thanks to the rain," Thomas said.

The forecast for today is partly cloudy skies with scattered afternoon thunderstorms.

Officials hope that higher humidity will assist fire suppression efforts.

Resources assigned to the fire include 265 personnel, 39 command staff, seven air tankers, nine hand crews, two helicopters, four bulldozers and 10 engines.

The Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed responsibility for the fire at 6 a.m. today.

Risue Creek Road is closed. An area closure is in effect from Jackass Flat-Risue Creek to the national forest boundary.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment