UPDATE (JULY 23) -- On Thursday evening, the Cottonwood Fire was 93% contained after growing to over 2,800 acres.

UPDATE (JULY 22) -- As of Wednesday afternoon, the Cottonwood Fire has been 30% contained after growing to 2,834 acres.

Officials said the need for air operations has lessened and the temporary flight restriction is "no longer a concern affecting flight paths for the McCarran Airport."

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Firefighters are working to contain a large blaze in the mountains southwest of the Las Vegas Valley on Monday afternoon.

Fire officials believe the Cottonwood Fire south of State Route 160 may have started about 9 a.m. on July 20 from a lightning strike after overnight storms in Southern Nevada. Officials said the fire was currently not threatening SR 160.

Officials said they are sending extra crews to the area to contain the blaze, including an air team to drop retardant on the fire.

By 5 p.m., officials said the fire is estimated at 700-800 acres burning in grass, sage and brush, with some pinyon and juniper. At 6:30 p.m., officials updates the burn to be 1,800 acres with 0% containment. By Tuesday morning, officials said the fire grew to 1,833 acres, still with 0% containment.

As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, officials said the fire has grown to 2,741 acres and is approximately 5% contained. 

Both ground and air crews were working to establish an anchor point and begin containment of the fire. Airtankers were using retardant to coat the vegetation and inhibit the fire's spread, "as well as performing point protection for the communications site on top of Potosi Mountain as a precaution. A type 2 helicopter has begun bucket drops to help cool the fire’s edge," officials said.

A temporary flight restriction was issued for the area, which is in the flight arrival and departure route for McCarran International Airport. Officials said they are working with the FAA on re-routing flights.

The fire is moving northeast. 

More isolated thunderstorms are forecasted for Monday, with gusty and erratic outflow winds. A red flag warning is in effect through Tuesday night. 

Ray Johnson with the U.S. Forest Service said Monday night they've had assistance from the Clark County Fire Department. He said the fire isn't a threat to Goodsprings, a town about 10 miles southeast from the fire.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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