Rain and snow helps douse Smith Valley fire | RecordCourier.com

Rain and snow helps douse Smith Valley fire

by Kurt Hildebrand

Rain and snow on the upper elevations of the Burbank fire aided firefighters’ efforts to get a line around the blaze.

A single hand crew and seven engines are working with a half-dozen helicopters on bullddozer lines around the 1,062-acre fire in the Pine Nut Mountains above Smith Valley.

“Firefighters worked all day to complete rehabilitation of dozer lines around the fire,” said Sierra Front Interagency Dispatcher Terah Malsam. “Tomorrow they will continue their efforts until completion.”

With more rain and snow predicted for tonight, demobilization of firefighters will continue by turning the fie back over to local BLM officials.

Firefighters will continue to mop up and rehab the area burned by the fire over the next week.

“The Burbank Fire demonstrated the value of public and private partnerships in wildland fire fuels management,” said Incident Commander John Kidd. “The BLM Upper Colony II fuels treatment project, defensible space created by homeowners and firefighters were able to successfully team up to reduce the impact of the fire to Smith Valley.”

The fire was started by lightning 3:45 p.m. Friday in Burbank Canyon and quickly expanded to more than 1,000 acres by high winds on Saturday.

Only about half the personnel were working the fire by the 5:45 p.m. update today as were on it at its peak, a significant percentage of those were command staff.

Firefighters from southern Douglas County, Carson Valley, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and Storey County joined Smith Valley, Lyon County, state and federal firefighters and in battling the blaze.