Vehicle suspected in 395 fire |

Vehicle suspected in 395 fire

Smoke rises above Silver City RV Park north of Minden on Thursday.
Sarah Drinkwine |

A series of fires along Highway 395 around Silver City RV Park on Thursday are believed to have been set by a passing vehicle.

East Fork Fire Investigator Capt. Terry Taylor said investigators think the fire was the result of a mechanical issue, not arson.

In addition to the four small fires that ignited, he said firefighters found evidence of others that didn’t catch.

He said a box truck being sought by authorities after the fire was not related.

“It was the middle of rush hour,” he said. “If someone had stopped to light a fire, we would have had a dozen calls.”

About four acres were estimated burned between all the fires. Firefighters from the Sundridge station bypassed a fire on the northside to deal with one that was threatening homes south of the park.

“Their initial efforts and quick thinking to go to that fire instead of the first one they saw prevented the fire from reaching structures,” East Fork Deputy Chief Dave Fogerson said. “Additional resources arrived on scene and were assigned to the four fires. We worked the fires for a little over two hours.”

The slow lane of Highway 395 north near Silver City RV Park was closed while firefighters mopped up the four blazes between Cradlebaugh Bridge and north of the RV Park. The road reopened at around 7:30 p.m.

Forward progress on the fires was reported stopped by personnel on scene at about 5:50 p.m.

Residents on either side of Silver City RV Park were warned to evacuate after fires ignited north and south of the park on Thursday.

The initial report of multiple wildfires came in at 5:20 p.m.

Firefighters from Carson City responded to the blazes, along with Douglas County sheriff’s deputies and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers.

The last time this happened, truck chains were blamed for a line of fires along the highway south of Cradlebaugh Bridge, where Highway 395 crosses the Carson River.

“Even though we have already seen snow and cold weather, we want to remind everyone that the fuels are still very receptive to the smallest spark,” Fogerson said. “It is very easy for a dragging tow chain to produce sparks or pieces from hot brakes or tires to ignite the grasses alongside a roadway.”