SANDY VALLEY FIRE

The BLM investigates the Sandy Valley Fire near Mountain Springs on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

UPDATE 8 P.M. : The Bureau of Land Management updated the Sandy Valley Fire, and said the fire has burned 1599 acres and is 40% contained. 

Around 200 firefighters are working to control the fire, said BLM and U.S. Forest officials.


LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The cause of the Sandy Valley Fire was a target shooting round that sparked and ignited dry vegetation, according to an initial investigation by the Bureau of Land Management. 

The fire has caused about 1,500 acres of burn two miles west of State Route 160. It is still zero percent contained, officials with the U.S. Forest Service and BLM said. The blaze began about 1:34 p.m. June 10.

"Today, aircraft will continue to use retardant to stop fire to growth to the north in an effort to eliminate impacts to Mt. Springs and Potosi Pass Road area," according to a release.

"Firefighters on the ground are continuing to create containment."

According to Kirsten Cannon, spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Management, "a round hit a rock, caused a spark and ignited dry vegetation."

Highway 160 wildfire

STATEWIDE FIRE RESTRICTIONS

The state on May 24 implemented new fire restrictions for Southern Nevada in a multiagency effort. These restrictions included:

  • building and/or using a campfire or charcoal stove (using portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel OK providing it has an on/off switch)
  • welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames (except by permit)
  • using any explosive (except by permit)
  • using fireworks or firing a tracer
  • operating an off-road vehicle without a spark arrestor
  • probibits steel

TARGET PRACTICE ON FEDERAL LANDS

"We encourage responsible use of public lands and one of those uses are targeting shooting," Cannon told FOX5 Friday afternoon. "We are in fire restrictions right now, so one of the things that we do prohibit is steel-core ammunition and exploding targets because they are known fire-starters. But, if people aren't using those, and are using the normal safety techniques of target shooting, which includes: not shooting at rocks or metal objects and not shooting into vegetation, we encourage responsible target shooting."

In recent years, Cannon said most human-caused fires were the result of target shooting gone wrong. In this fire, an explosive target called Tannerite was found at the scene.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


ORIGINAL STORY (JUNE 10)

BLM investigators said the fire was started by humans.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Firefighters are working a wildfire near Sandy Valley Road and Highway 160 Thursday afternoon.

According to Ray Johnson with the Department of Forestry, the fire started around 1:30 p.m. near Sandy Valley Road and State Route 160. The fire started two miles west of State Route 160, according to Bureau of Land Management officials.

The Bureau of Land Management said the fire burned nearly 700 acres and no structures have been threatened. Late Thursday, the National Interagency Fire Center reported that the fire grew to 1,500 acres.

No injuries have been reported, BLM officials said.

Firefighters are working to contain the fire, however it is 0% contained.

Fire behavior is extreme and burning pinion juniper, grass and brush. Smoke is visible from the Las Vegas Valley and along State Route 160.  

Out of caution, evacuations have been recommended to all residents and commercial buildings on Mount Potosi Road, according to the BLM.

Firefighters from BLM, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Nevada Division of Forestry  and Clark County are actively suppressing the fire. 

The BLM said the fire was human-caused, however its still being investigated.

Copyright 2021 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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