Firefighters make progress toward containment on Canyon Fire near Topaz Ranch Estates

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Carson City District Office
For Release: August 23, 2019

Contact: Lisa Ross (775) 885-6107, lross@blm.gov Cell - (775) 304-8850    

Date Started: Wednesday, 8/21/2019

Cause: Target shooting

Total Personnel: 150Injuries/Illnesses to Date: 0

Size: 441 acres

Structures Threatened: 0

Percent Contained: 58 %

Resources: 2 Helicopters, 5 Engines; 4 Crews; 1 Water Tender

Structures Lost: 0

Estimated Containment: 8/24/2019
Carson City, Nev. – 
The Canyon Fire started at approximately 1:45 p.m., on Wednesday, August 21. The fire is burning approximately 30 miles southeast of Carson City, NV. The cause of the fire is target shooting.

The fire is burning in Pinon Juniper with sage and grass understory. Air and ground units are actively engaged in fire suppression activities. Fire fighter crewsmade good progress yesterday and continue to build line around the perimeter of the fire for increased containment.  

 Firefighter safety is the number one priority and fire behavior changes will be monitored as warming temperatures and lower humidity are expected. The weather today is mostly sunny, with a high in the mid 90’s and a low around 59, with wind speeds 5 to 10 mph.For further information call Lisa Ross at 775-304-8850. You can also get information at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6538/

FIRE CREWS ASSIST IN MOUNTAIN RESCUE

On August 13, 2019, the Wells BLM Wildland Fire Station Engine 1445 and the USFS Strike Team from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest assisted the Elko County Fire Protection District and their partners with a patient rescue. A vehicle went off the Angel Lake Road which leads to and from Angel Lake. Angel Lake is in the East Humboldt Range and located near Wells, NV.

A single-vehicle had rolled off the switchback road coming to rest approximately 400 yards from the roadway in steep terrain. Fire Crews assisted local personnel with access to the scene by cutting a path with chainsaws from the bottom up through thick aspen stands to allow for easier egress down the hill. After the patient was loaded into the backboard the interagency team moved the patient downhill slowly in a path that was predetermined. The rescuers had to be aware of incline, footing, and possible blood-borne pathogens, bees, snakes and tripping hazards.

The interagency rescue team comprised of members from local fire and rescue, mine rescue team personnel, medical airlift, Elko County Fire Protection District, Wells Rural Electric, BLM Engine Crew, and USFS Strike Team all assisted in the rescue effort. The occupant of the vehicle was transported to a medical facility.

Fuel Break Project-Battle Mountain

July 6, 2019

The Ruby Mountain Hotshot crew buggies kick up dust on dirt roads on their way to their next assignment. Photo: Johnny Siren, BLM

The Ruby Mountain Hotshot crew buggies kick up dust on dirt roads on their way to their next assignment. Photo: Johnny Siren, BLM

 

NEAR ALKALI FLATS, NEV.- The Ruby Mountain Hotshots have been working hard near Battle Mountain during this time of low fire activity. In this part of the district, encroaching juniper and overgrowth have joined to create a greater risk of carrying fire, and in an effort to reduce that risk, the hotshots have been working alongside a masticator, a specialized piece of heavy equipment that uses spinning blades to reduce standing vegetation to splinters. With their combined efforts they are building a “fire break”, a gap in fuel continuity, creating a place for firefighters to have an operational advantage in the event of a fire, and improving safety on public lands for both firefighters and the public.

In the foreground, the masticated remains of a pinyon juniper, reduced to chips. In the background, the BLM Battle Mountain District’s masticator operated by Dave Wall. Photo: Johnny Siren, BLM

In the foreground, the masticated remains of a pinyon juniper, reduced to chips. In the background, the BLM Battle Mountain District’s masticator operated by Dave Wall. Photo: Johnny Siren, BLM

Each of these resources are working within a scope of work called a "prescription", which details how to tell if a tree should be removed, "limbed up" (a term meaning to trim low branches to reduce the likelihood of fire to climb into the canopy of the tree), or simply left as-is. In this part of the canyon, the prescription called for treatment of 300 feet from the road on either side, and further down the canyon, where the walls were steeper, 150 feet to either side of the road. Here we see how the limbs trimmed from the vegetation are stacked in "bone piles" to dry, kept some distance away from live trees, to be burned in the winter when the fire danger is low. These fuel reduction tactics are designed to manipulate fire behavior if it reaches the treated area, making managing the fire easier for firefighters. These projects represent just one of the many ways that firefighters take advantage of periods of low fire activity to put public lands and communities in a better position for when the fires arrive.

Limbs and pieces of pinyon juniper stacked into bone piles. After letting these piles cure, firefighters will burn them in the winter when the fire danger is low, further reducing the fuel within the fuel break. Photo: Johnny Siren, BLM.

Limbs and pieces of pinyon juniper stacked into bone piles. After letting these piles cure, firefighters will burn them in the winter when the fire danger is low, further reducing the fuel within the fuel break. Photo: Johnny Siren, BLM.