Wildfire a reminder threat not over | RecordCourier.com

Wildfire a reminder threat not over

Firefighters extinguish a wildland blaze in Topaz Ranch Estates on Sunday.
Sharrie Flaherty

Firefighters and residents extinguished a Topaz Ranch Estates wildland fire that threatened nearby homes on Sunday.

The fire was reported at around 2 p.m. near Topaz Ranch Drive and Slate Road.

When East Fork firefighters arrived they found the fire burning actively in brush and piñon, Battalion Chief Troy Valenzuela said.

Residents were spraying the fire with garden hoses in an effort to slow it.

“East Fork Brush 4, with only three personnel, performed a quick attack on the fire to stop forward progress and further damage,” Valenzuela said.

Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service units aided in holding the fire to less than 2 acres.

“There was no damage to any structures and there were no reported injuries,” Valenzuela said. “East Fork would like to remind the community that wildland fires still present a considerable threat to our area and to please use caution with burning and outdoor activities.”

This summer, which ends on Saturday, has seen extremely dry conditions, with only a quarter-inch of precipitation measured in Minden during the entire season.

Last week saw the third instance of double red flag warnings for critical fire danger this year. Low humidity and gusty winds can cause a small fire to grow quickly, according to the National Weather Service.

Not all of Douglas County’s vegetation fires this season were limited to the boundary between civilization and wildland.

A backyard welding project resulted in sparks igniting brush that threatened eight homes in the Gardnerville Ranchos near Long Valley Road on June 28.

Ten days later, a wildland fire that appeared to be started by a Topaz Lake power pole claimed a resident’s home on July 8.

The next day saw the largest wildland fire in Carson Valley this year off Jacks Valley Road near James Canyon Loop.

Started by a spark from a piece of heavy equipment, that July 9 fire burned 40-50 acres above the road, claiming brush right up to the neighborhood homes.

Valenzuela said East Fork has hired 11 firefighters and medics who begin their 12-week academy on Oct. 1, helping to reduce the staffing challenges over the past several years.

“It will be nice to get these new recruits through the academy and get more hands on the line to help out,” he said.