Gusty winds keep Smith Valley firefighters from making headway |

Gusty winds keep Smith Valley firefighters from making headway

by Kurt Hildebrand

Erratic winds continue to bedevil firefighters working on the 1,062-acre Burbank fire burning in the Pine Nut Mountains above Smith Valley.

“The Burbank Fire remains at 10 percent containment due to gusty and erratic winds and steep, hazardous terrain,” said fire public information officers Elayn Briggs. “Fire resources are working to construct hand and dozer lines around the fire and to protect homes and other structures on the north and west edges of the fire.”

Those winds aren’t expected to slow down until a cold front from the Gulf of Alaska arrives in Western Nevada bringing cooler temperatures and potential precipitation with it.

Residents in the area of the fire, near Upper Colony Road, are under a voluntary evacuation.

Smith Valley Fire Chief Rob Loveberg reminded homeowners that residents need to stay aware and out of the fire area, and to watch out for large fire apparatus on the area’s narrow roads.

As of 3 p.m. Sunday, homes on the west side of Smith Valley were still threatened. More than 450 people are working the fire, including 11 hand crews, five air tankers, five helicopters, two bull dozers and 31 fire engines.

The fire command post is moving from Smith Valley High School to the Day Road fire station. The high school will open as usual on Monday morning. Command of the fire will also be upgraded on Monday morning.