Firefighters douse C-Hill blaze
Admitting it got “scary and dangerous” Carson City fire and law enforcement officials were taking a deep breath Monday.
The Shooting Fire started at 11:20 a.m. Sunday when target shooters accidentally ignited dry cheat grass.
The fire, estimated at 258 acres, started on the west side of the “C” on C Hill in Carson City.
The wind drove the fire south toward the Carson Indian Colony. An aggressive air attack and structure protection from local, state and federal agencies saved multiple structures in the fire’s path.
“The fire started up on the side of a steep hill with high winds and hot afternoon temperatures, so it was difficult,” said Fire Chief Bob Schreihans. “But my crews did a great job; there were no structures lost. It got a bit scary and dangerous for a bit but they did a great job in stopping the fire.”
According to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch two firefighters suffered bee stings.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said residents of about 60 homes were advised to evacuate on Sunday because flames were being blown that way.
He said if the area was evacuated before flames reached homes then crews could set up and fight the fires without worrying about civilians.
“Many people stayed with hoses to water down their land but that was challenging because if the fire reached homes and people are trying to get out of the area when fire crews are coming in, it could have hampered the fire department’s resources and that is why the evacuation was important,” Furlong said.
Furlong said only a fifth of residents left their homes.
In Nevada, only the governor may order residents from their homes.
Several local entities were present to help in the efforts. Furlong said the Washoe Tribal Police called them nearly immediately to help with traffic control and evacuation and Carson City was able to aid with both staff and volunteers as well as several deputy fire chiefs, Public Works, City Manager Nick Marano and Mayor Robert Crowell.
“The colony is a part of our community and we did everything we could for them,” Furlong said.
Curry Street was closed for several hours to make sure crews could safely and effectively access the fire area, however, all roads were re-opened Sunday night.
About 225 personnel responded to the fire including fire equipment and personnel from East Fork, North Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Douglas, Truckee Meadows and Storey County as well the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Department of Forestry.
“It’s a testament to all the agencies who jumped on this real quick,” Crowell said Sunday. “Thanks to all the hard work of the sheriff’s office, the fire department, BLM, NDF.”
Officials said there is an old shooting range southwest of C Hill where gunfire from two shooters started the fire. A spark from one of the guns ignited the fire, however Furlong said they don’t anticipate any charges coming up against the two men.
“The two who started it were shooting at an abandoned range but they weren’t doing anything wrong,” Furlong said. “When they first saw the spark they immediately called 911 and waited at the base of the hill for officers. They were completely cooperative. It was an accidental fire so that is no reason to go against that.”
Crews spent Monday for clean-up and containment to make sure there were no other hot spots or possible ember flare ups. Full containment happened by 7 p.m. Monday.