Las Vegas-area fire seen as threat to species

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An expert on rare butterflies says a wildfire burning since July 1 in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas could doom several animal species found nowhere else on Earth.

Biologist Bruce Boyd tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the 44-square-mile fire has burned through some of the richest animal and insect habitat in the area.

He compares the fire to a heart attack for the Spring Mountain range.

U.S. Forest Service biologist Jenny Ramirez calls the blaze catastrophic, but she says common species like mule deer and mountain lions should be fine.

Ramirez agrees there’s danger for several types of blue butterflies and the Palmer’s chipmunk, an animal found only on Mount Charleston.

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