Fires under investigation | RecordCourier.com

Fires under investigation

by Amy Alonzo aalonzo@recordcourier.com

A series of unrelated brush and structure fires kept East Fork Fire Protection crews busy this week.

Three small cheat grass fires were reported at about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday between Airport Road and Johnson Lane. Fire Investigator Terry Taylor said they still are under investigation and it is unclear whether they were started on purpose or by a passing vehicle.

"Fires along highways can often be caused by vehicles or over-the-road trucks," he said.

At about 11 p.m. Tuesday firefighters responded to a structure fire at 1307 Wheeler Way in Gardnerville.

The fire was contained in the rear of the house and is believed to have started in the master bedroom, Taylor said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire displaced two female residents.

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On Wednesday crews responded at about 11 a.m. for an unsupervised burn pile at Topaz Ranch Estates that got out of control. The fire got just a few feet away from the pile, but it's "a good reminder," Taylor said. "The grass is still dry."

Taylor said a combination of dry fuels left over from the past several years of drought combined with the copious amount of weeds and grasses popping up from this year's heavy rains are a recipe for disaster.

"People are forgetting we've gone five years with a drought and we've got dry fuel all over the place," he said. "It's time to think about [using] Roundup and pre-emergent together. We are going to have the giant weed festival here by the end of May."