Mud Lake fire under investigation |

Mud Lake fire under investigation

by Kurt Hildebrand

The cause of a 250-acre fire along the Carson River is still under investigation, a spokes-man for the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch said Tuesday.

Firefighters had the Mud Lake fire surrounded at midnight Saturday. Smoke from the fire could be seen from around Carson Valley. The fire burned east of Mud Lake in southern Douglas County.

Carson City’s Sherri Thurin said she and her husband were camping along the river when they spotted the fire.

“We were fishing with our dog and sitting around at about 2:30 p.m. when we heard gunfire,” she said. “There were six shots, but we weren’t paying attention because people shoot there all the time. My husband got up and luckily he was facing that way. He said ‘My God, they started a fire.'”

Thurin said that when she first saw the fire it was about 12 feet across.

“We packed up our stuff because we were on the same side of the river as the fire,” she said. “In that time, the fire spread about 300 feet so I told my husband, ‘Let’s go, let’s leave this stuff.’ We were very scared. We were within 100 feet of the fire before we crossed the river. If we had taken three minutes longer, we would not have been able to cross the river.”

Thurin and her husband warned some campers on the other side of the river about the fire.

“We let them know and they left their whole campground,” she said. “We called the sheriff’s office when we got home.”

The Thurins left by Leviathan Mine Road. Firefighters attempted to reach the fire from China Spring Road.

There was some initial confusion about the fire’s location.

At its height, 125 firefighters battled the blaze, including three handcrews and nine fire engines. In addition four air tankers and three helicopters provided air support to the firefighters.

The fire was on land managed by the U.S Forest Service. East Fork Fire District, the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of Forestry aided Forest Service firefighters in extinguishing the blaze.

No structures were threatened by the fire.

— Kurt Hildebrand can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 215.