Bison fire crests Pine Nuts, burning on both sides |

Bison fire crests Pine Nuts, burning on both sides

Staff Reports
Special to The R-C

The Bison fire grew to 2,000 acres this afternoon exhibiting extreme behavior, as 30 mph wind gusts fanned flames in a thick mix of piñon and juniper trees.

The fire has crested the Pine Nut Mountains and is heading down the east slope toward Smith Valley, according to Sierra Front Dispatch Center Information Officer Elayne Briggs.

Briggs said the eight hand crews trying to build a line around the fire are being moved off. Crews got a line a fifth of the way around the fire.

Lyon emergency officials have been notified that the flames and smoke may be visible to Smith Valley and Wellington residents.

Lyon County Manager Jeff Page said that he is in a briefing with fire officials to determine the extend of the fire and the possibility of it moving downslope into Smith Valley.

There are no requests for evacuation at this time, Page said.

“Lyon County Office of Emergency Management has taken precautionary measures to notify local public safety personnel, dispatch, and support teams in the event the fire begins to move into the area,” he said. “If it is determined that the fire may move towards structures Lyon County Office of Emergency Management and public safety personnel will alert the public.”

Southwest winds were blowing 17 mph, gusting to 31 mph at 3:33 p.m., according to the National Weather Service station located at the Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

Firefighters are working to protect structures and build handlines to keep the fire contained in the Pine Nut Creek area five miles east of Gardnerville.

As of 4 p.m., no structures have been reported lost in the fire, nor have there been any reports of injuries.

In all 350 firefighters, including eight hand crews, 12 engines, five single-engine air tankers, three helicopters, two water tenders and four bulldozers are working the fire.

The fire, first reported at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, was set by lightning.