Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 8:30 p.m.
Contact: (775) 748-4141, (775) 753-0386, or
MULTIPLE FIRES GROW NEAR ELKO, NEVADA
Elko, Nevada: Afternoon winds fanned the flames of four large Elko County wildfires today. Intermittent heavy smoke from the Susie, North Antelope, Sneekee and Elburz Fires continues to affect visibility in the area.
The Suzie Fire, about five miles northwest of Elko, has burned approximately 69,500 acres in sagebrush and grass. Interstate 80 west of Elko remained open today, although smoke is obscuring visibility at times. However, the Mountain City Highway was closed from about 3-4 p.m. from the Elko City limits to the Dinner Station turnoff at State Route 226.
The Southern California Type II Fire Management Team #3 from Southern California assumed management of the Suzie Fire at 6 a.m. today.
Windy conditions late this afternoon pushed the North Antelope Fire to nearly 5,000 acres, about 28 miles north of Dunphy. The fire’s active front burned through cheatgrass and sage brush between North Antelope Creek Road and Mud Springs.
The Sneekee Fire started Monday afternoon and is burning in the Red Springs Wilderness Study Area about 35 miles south of Elko. It is estimated at 5,300 acres. The Berndt Type 2 Interagency Management Team from Washington assumed management of the Sneekee Fire at 6 p.m. today.
The Elburz Fire, about 10 miles northeast of Elko, has burned approximately 9,600 acres, and is contained and is being mopped up.
Revised acreage figures for the Suzie, Sneekee and Elburz Fires are based on global positioning system mapping of the burned areas.
More than 500 fire fighting personnel from all over Nevada and across the country are currently fighting wildfires in Elko County. Eighty contract firefighters arrived this afternoon from Oregon and Idaho to help with the Sneekee and North Antelope fires.
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.
A press conference to discuss the fires currently burning in Elko County has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 28, in the auditorium of the Elko Convention and Visitor’s Authority, 700 Moren Way, in Elko. The public is invited to attend and participate in a public question and answer session. Local county and fire agency officials will be available to answer questions.
BLM Elko Assistant Fire Management Officer Jeff Arnberger advised the public to be very cautious during this period of extreme fire danger.