(Photo : InciWeb)
(Photo : InciWeb)
Over 500 residents have been evacuated from some 400 homes as a fire on Mt. Charles in Nevada continues to blaze for the fifth straight day. Stoked by this year's dry winter and recent heat wave, a fire commander on location described conditions as the "perfect recipe for a large fire to grow."
According to the most recent update from InciWeb, the Carpenter 1 fire is located approximately 22 miles from Las Vegas, near the community of Kyle Canyon and was first reported on Monday July 1 at approximately 12:00 p.m. The blaze, which was ignited by a lightning strike, has spread rapidly to encompass over 9,000 acres of land. Officials say that as of Friday the fire is still zero percent contained.
Only July 5, an Incident Management Team led by Commander Marty Adell arrived at the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area to assist the 300 fire personnel assigned to battle Carpenter 1. According to a report from Las Vegas Sun, additional firefighters are being brought in from other parts of Nevada, Utah, and California to reinforce the crews.
"When you have a fire like this, you bring in resources from everywhere," said U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Suzanne Shelp, who added that smoke was severely hampering visibility in the area.
"You can't get crews in safely if you don't know what the fire's doing," she said.
A Red Flag Warning was put in place on Friday, meaning weather conditions favor high fire danger. According to forecasts, extreme fire behavior is likely throughout most of the day. Torching of trees or long range fire spotting are predicted. The rate of fire spreading through fuels that include pinyon, juniper, and specifically sage brush is expected to reach at least 5 mph.
Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued by Las Vegas Metro for Kyle Canyon and Trout Canyon. Lee Canyon is open to residents only. The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area has put a Closure Order in place. This order includes: Lee Canyone Road (State Route 156), closed at U.S. Route 95; Kyle Canyon Road (State Route 57), closed at U.S. Route 95; Trout Canyon Road, closed at State Route 160; and Lovell Canyon Road, closed at Trout Canyon Road.
For the 520 evacuees that have been forced from their homes, the Red Cross has set up two evacuation shelters. In the city of Pahrump, a shelter has been made available in Hafen Elementary, located at 7120 S. Hafen Ranch Road. In Las Vegas, another shelter has been organized at James Bilbray Elementary, located at 9370 Brent Lane.
Both shelters are open 24 hours a day, until residents are able to return home—which officials don't foresee happening any time soon, according to various reports. The Red Cross is also partnering with local government agencies to offer shelter to pets and animals of any kind.
"The [Incident Management] team will ensure that our firefighters are working safely, that the communities in proximity to the fire are protected, and that information provided to the public is up to date," said Randy Swick, Area Manager for the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.