1,200-acre Smith Valley blaze continues to threaten homes | RecordCourier.com

1,200-acre Smith Valley blaze continues to threaten homes

Staff Reports

The Burbank fire has grown to 1,200 acres and continues to threaten homes on the west side of Smith Valley. Two firefighters were injured battling the blaze on Saturday, one receiving smoke inhalation and the other dehydration.

Firefighters have cut a line a tenth of the way around the blaze, and will work through the night to build a handline around the fire’s edge.

According to Sierra Front Interagency Dispatcher Terah Malsam, helicopters and air tankers attacked the head of the fire with water drops until they were grounded due to high winds. Nearly 400 firefighters are working to build a line between the fire and homes, which are being protected by 20 engines.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is handling voluntary evacuations from homes threatened by the fire. So far two abandoned mining shacks have been destroyed in the fire. The fire also threatens sageground habitat and the Mono Basin deer winter range.

East Fork firefighters are among those battling the blaze, which is being fought by the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Lyon and Storey counties and the Bureau of Land Management.

Gusty and erratic winds have driven the Burbank fire to 1,000 acres this afternoon. Smoke from the fire could still be seen in Carson Valley.

Eight handcrews and two bulldozers are fighting to get a line along the east side of the fire to protect homes near Upper Colony Road. Voluntary evacuations are in place while structures are still threatened.

Five air tankers and three helicopters are providing air support to firefighters on the ground, which include 20 engines.

The fire is burning in pinon-juniper in Burbank Canyon in the Pine Nut Mountains above Smith Valley.

Firefighters are racing the weather to get a line around the east side of the 400-acre Burbank fire. Erratic winds are expected to make extinguishing the blaze burning in Smith Valley difficult to control this afternoon.

The fire started during a lightning storm 3:45 p.m. Friday. Smoke from the fire could be seen from Carson Valley. Several East Fork fire units went to the aid of Smith Valley firefighters.

As of this morning, firefighters were able to prevent the loss of any homes. Voluntary evacuations in the Upper Colony Road area were conducted on Friday. Homes are stills threatened today. The fire is burning in pinon and juniper.

Eight handcrews are constructing the line between the fire and homes in the area. There are also 20 engines, three helicopters and five air tankers working the fire, making more than 260 people on the fire, according to Sierra Front Interagency Center dispatcher Helen Frazier.

Burbank is one of a dozen lightning sparked fires from Friday’s storm cell.

The fire is on land managed by the BLM. Firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry and Lyon County are helping to battle the blaze.