Gusty winds may fan Smith Valley fire |

Gusty winds may fan Smith Valley fire

by Kurt Hildebrand

Firefighters expect the 1,000-acre Burbank fire burning in the Pine Nut Mountains above Smith Valley to take off again if gusty winds return this afternoon.

The size of the fire was reduced from 1,200 acres this morning after better mapping information was received.

Because of the winds, hand crews are rushing to complete a line between the fire and homes along Upper Colony Road. Crews have a line around a tenth of the fire so far.

The road was closed at Pinon by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. Thirty-one engines from agencies all over the Sierra Front are being stationed near homes for their protection. Voluntary evacuations are in place for the community.

So far only two abandoned mining shacks have been claimed by the fire, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch. Two firefighters were reported injured in the fire, both have been treated.

The fire was started 3:45 p.m. Friday by a lightning strike, one of several to spark small fires around Western Nevada.

Five air tankers and helicopters are working the fire, along with 13 hand crews, two water tenders and two bulldozers. Nearly 400 firefighters are working the blaze.

The fire is in Bureau of Lane Management jurisdiction. Several East Fork Fire District units are fighting the fire, along with units from the U.S. Forest Service, Lyon County, Storey County, Carson City, Sierra Fire District, Smith Valley Fire District and North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.