China Springs fire extinguished |

China Springs fire extinguished

by Kurt Hildebrand

Firefighters were expected to be finished with the 335-acre China Springs fire on Tuesday evening.

The fire was started 12:47 p.m. Sunday by human activity according to Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators Spokeswoman Helen Frazier.

“The cause of the fire is under investigtation,” Frazier said Tuesday. “We still have units on the scene that will be mopping up and secure the perimeter.”

The fire burned through grass, brush, piñon, juniper and timber in the rugged countryside above southeastern Carson Valley in the area of a 1995 fire.

Most of the fuel was grass and some sagebrush that was recolonizing the burn, but Frazier said the prior fire had left pockets of piñon pine, juniper and Jeffrey pine.

Three helicopters helped the 160 firefighters consisting of five hand crews and eight fire engines. Units from the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts, Alpine County, Incline Village Fire District, and firefighters from the Los Padres and Angeles National Forests fought the fire.

Frazier said the Southern California units were in Nevada for another reason and ended up being dispatched to the fire.

Most of the fire was contained to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest with a portion on land managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and 43 acres of private land. No structures were threatened, but the fire did burn deer habitat and down to the riparian habitat along the East Fork of the Carson River.

Frazier said that despite the late season, conditions are still very dry.

“The moisture we received this fall temporarily brought the fire danger down and the cold is helping to keep it down, but there is still the potential for a fire,” she said. “We’ve lifted fire restrictions but people should still be careful.”