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Fires show vegetation ready to burn

East Fork firefighters practice using natural water sources to supply water near Genoa.
East Fork Professional Firefighters

Firefighters extinguished abandoned campfires on either end of the county this weekend.

On Friday, East Fork Firefighters responded to a fire reported just after 5 p.m. located southeast of Fish Spring Flat near Wheaton and Pinenut Road.

East Fork Battalion Chief Scott Fraser said the fire spread to two trees.

“The fire was on BLM land, and clearly whomever left it, didn’t follow the BLM restrictions,” Fraser said.

Tahoe-Douglas firefighters responded to a suspected homeless warming fire at 12:45 p.m. in Van Sickle State Park.

Campfires require at least 6 feet clear of burnable materials on state and federal land and must be attended at all times under an order issued April 15.

Fraser said the brush in the Pine Nuts is ready to burn, so it won’t require much of a spark.

Sunday’s high winds could have fanned a fire into a conflagration

A wind gauge in Gardnerville recorded a 59 mph gust, and winds at the Fish Spring Fire House were 47 mph on Sunday afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service’s wildland fire potential outlook, the Great Basin had the second highest number of wildfire reports.

Forecasters said Northern California and the Great Basin are key areas to monitor as fuels continue to dry.

“Fine fuel loading is expected to be above average for the third consecutive year in the lower elevations,” forecasters said. “Those fuels will dry and cure, becoming receptive to fire by mid-June.”

Drought conditions are expected to persist across Western Nevada through July.

Above average potential for large fires is expected along the east slope of the Sierra in July and August.

Fire restrictions have been implemented across state and federal lands in Western Nevada, due to challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

East Fork Fire Protection District has halted backyard burning for the year.