Wetlands Park brush fire scorched 14 acres of animal habitat - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Wetlands Park brush fire scorched 14 acres of animal habitat

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Crews from the Clark County Fire Department and the Bureau of Land Management were battling a brush fire at Wetlands Park. (Photo: M Casper) Crews from the Clark County Fire Department and the Bureau of Land Management were battling a brush fire at Wetlands Park. (Photo: M Casper)
A brush fire broke out at Wetlands Park Tuesday evening. Feb. 20, 2018 (Photo: Emily Vazquez) A brush fire broke out at Wetlands Park Tuesday evening. Feb. 20, 2018 (Photo: Emily Vazquez)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Crews from the Clark County Fire Department and the Bureau of Land Management battled a brush fire that broke out at Wetlands Park Tuesday evening, the department said.

A large plume of smoke was visible from the area on the far east end of Flamingo Road. 

"That's when it started to stink," neighbor Kathryn Ellouise said. "My house just filled up with stinky."

CCFD Chief Greg Cassell said a total of 14 acres were scorched by the fire. There were no structures in the area. A 21-person crew from the Nevada Division of Forestry finished cleaning up the affected area.

The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time, but Cassell confirmed there have been many fires ignited by homeless people at Wetlands Park over the past few years. No injuries were reported.

"Maybe someone keeping a campfire back there to keep warm," Ellouise said. "I've lived here just over a year, and I think I've seen three fires. Two of them major."

Jim Bodrato, who has lived near Wetlands Park for 30 years, said he's always concerned for the safety of his home and animals whenever a fire sparks up.

"Negligence. Someone throwing a cigarette out or something, but I don't know," Bodrato speculated. "I'm always concerned about wildlife too. I hate to think about even the coyotes, which I'm not in love with."

"I witnessed a large jackrabbit that was in total chaos when I was watching the fire, trying to figure out which direction to go," Ellouise said. "The smell is very intoxicating to small animals... It smelled real musky. You know, burnt. Sooty. Toxic."

Neighbors said the fire serves as a reminder to always have a survival plan in place.

"Many of (our homes) are pretty, but they're tinder boxes. They've been here a while," Ellouise said. "Not only will I survive, I'll invite the whole neighborhood over so we can all survive together!" 

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