Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 8:00 a.m.
Contact: (775) 748-4141, (775) 753-0386, or
MULTIPLE FIRES GROW NEAR ELKO, NEVADA
Elko, Nevada – Fire fighters bracing for bad weather.
Fire fighters on the Suzie, Elburz, and Sneekee Fires currently burning in Elko County are preparing for erratic winds and dry lightning. A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service today. Intermittent heavy smoke continues to affect visibility in the area.
The Suzie Fire, about 10 miles northwest of Elko, has burned approximately 50,000 acres in sagebrush and grass. I-80 west of Elko was closed for about 3 hours Monday afternoon. The fire nearly doubled in size Monday afternoon when a storm cell settled directly over the fire. The Southern California Type II Fire Management Team Three from Southern California assumed management of the Suzie Fire at 6:00 a.m. today.
The Elburz Fire, about 10 miles northeast of Elko, has burned approximately 12,600 acres. River Ranch was evacuated early Monday and structure protection was put in place. All evacuation orders were lifted later in the day for areas affected by the Elburz Fire.
The Sneekee Fire started Monday afternoon and is burning in the Red Springs Wilderness Study Area about 35 miles southwest of Elko. It is estimated at 6,000 acres.
Over 400 fire fighting resources from all over Nevada and across the country are currently fighting Elko County fires and more are en route. .
Crews include firefighters from the BLM, Nevada Division of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, East Nevada Agency, Duck Valley Tribe, and Nevada Army National Guard; and volunteer fire departments of Carlin, Deeth, Jackpot, Jiggs, Lee Engine Company, Midas, Ryndon, Spring Creek, Ten Mile, Wells, Wendover, Crescent Valley, Diamond Valley, Dunphy, Pine Valley, Ely, Jarbidge, Elko, and Beowawe. Additional firefighters have arrived from Washoe City and Carson City, and the Nevada counties of Clark, Humboldt, White Pine, Douglas, Eureka, Lander, and Lincoln. Firefighters also have arrived from 13 other states.
A fire state of emergency was declared in Elko County by the Elko County Commission and a 30-day ban on burn barrels was put into effect.
There will be a press conference to discuss the fires currently burning in Elko County on Wednesday, June 28 at 9:00 a.m. at the Elko Convention and Visitor’s Authority in the
auditorium, 700 Moren Way, Elko, Nevada. The public is invited to attend and participate in a public question and answer session. Local county and fire agency officials will be present.
BLM Elko Assistant Fire Management Officer Jeff Arnberger commented, “We’ve got a tremendous challenge ahead of us today if the weather prediction happens. Thankfully our neighbors from around Nevada and across the country are here giving us a hand. Locally, we’re stretched about as thin as possible. Almost all of northeastern Nevada’s firefighting resources are on fires right now. We’re getting resources from other parts of the state and the Nevada National Guard. It’s critical that people are extremely cautious with fire and outdoor activities.”
Fire officials are asking people to be very cautious in this period of extreme fire danger.