Hazardous substance call closes highway, transfer station
The Douglas County Transfer Station reopened on Wednesday after a mysterious substance blamed for the deaths of a score of birds resulted in the closure of both Highway 395 and the station on Tuesday morning.
The cause of the bird deaths remain a mystery, Battalion Chief Scott Fraser said Wednesday.
A hazardous materials crew didn’t find anything that might have killed 20 birds on Tuesday morning.
“We were unable to determine anything, so we decided there was no further public safety threat, and turned the Transfer Station over to Douglas Disposal.”
Fraser said firefighters saw and counted the birds, which included sparrows and finches, and collected some for testing.
East Fork Chief Tod Carlini said the first report came in around 10 a.m.
Douglas Disposal workers were loading a truck destined for the Carson City landfill and just as it was pulling out, they noticed birds in the station were dropping dead.
Landfill operators were able to get in contact with the driver before he left the county and he pulled over on Highway 395 between Mica Drive and Jacks Valley Road.
Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and state workers closed the highway for about three hours while firefighters checked for potential toxins. Highway 395 was reopened by noon.
Carlini said that when they didn’t find anything, they arranged for the truck to return to the transfer station, where it was met by members of the National Guard’s Civil Support Team.
No human casualties or injuries were reported, Carlini said.