Crews struggle against southern Nevada blaze

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Residents of a small mountain community northwest of Las Vegas were ordered to evacuate Thursday as firefighters continued to battle searing heat and rugged terrain while fighting a large blaze.

The mandatory evacuation of Trout Canyon, a small community of about 21 homes, was issued late in the afternoon as a precaution after the fire on Mount Charleston jumped a creek and moved in the direction of residences, said Hillerie Patton, fire spokeswoman with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Patton said many residents had already left.

“The fire is not right up on the homes, but close enough that we wanted to make sure for the sake of the fire planning area that we have enough space,” Patton said. “A lot of it is for safety operations.”

The American Red Cross set up an evacuation center at Hafen Elementary School in Pahrump.

Firefighting efforts Thursday focused on reducing fuels near homes by setting back fires. No homes have been lost.

The lightning-sparked blaze broke out Monday and has burned more than 1,100 acres. There was zero containment Thursday afternoon.

The main road up the mountain was closed, as were other roads and trails in the area. About 150 firefighters including one Hotshot crew were battling the fire, and a helicopter was making water drops from the air.

In northern Nevada, fire officials said they expect full containment by the end of the day of a small fire southeast of Carson City. That fire was sparked by lightning Wednesday night and has burned about 25 acres. No homes or structures were lost of threatened.

Personnel and resources from that fire were being sent to another lightning-sparked fire in Douglas County that broke out Thursday afternoon when thunderstorms moved through the region. That fire was estimated at 50 acres around 5 p.m.

North of Reno, a large fire that broke out Monday just over the California line was contained Thursday.

The Red Rock fire burned nearly 5,400 acres or more than eight square miles.

Other fires are burning elsewhere around the state in remote regions.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, two fires are burning around Winnemucca and two each are reported in the Ely and Battle Mountain districts.

The largest is the Crescent Dune Fire, estimated at more than 15 square miles. It was located about five miles south of Orovada and was estimated at 10 percent containment.

Most of Nevada has endured record hot temperatures for the past five days. Afternoon thunderstorms and drought-parched vegetation heighten fire concerns.

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