Thursday, August 30, 2007, 6:00 pm
Contact: (775) 753-0386 or (775) 748-4000
POWERFUL THUNDERSTORM CAUSES FIRES, WRECKS
Elko, Nev. – A powerful thunderstorm cell swept through Elko County Thursday afternoon leaving fires and vehicle accidents in its wake.
A fast moving thunderstorm cell with extremely high winds came through central Nevada and hit the county this afternoon.
As the winds hit the burned areas south of Interstate 80, they stirred up ash and dust and contributed to vehicle accidents which kept I-80 closed off and on for three hours. Travel conditions on I-80 were extremely hazardous because of the winds, slick roads, and reduced visibility. I-80 is currently open.
Nine fires resulted from the storm’s lighting. Four of the fires are out and the remaining five are scattered from the Jiggs area to near Jackpot. All fires are five acres or less. Volunteer Fire Department, Nevada Division of Forestry, and Bureau of Land Management fire crews will work late tonight mopping up and monitoring the remaining fires.
“Although we expected this storm, it was more powerful than we anticipated,” said BLM Fire Duty Officer Dylan Rader. “On the plus side, the heart of the thunder cell had some much needed and welcome rain.”
Rader added that reconnaissance flights will be flown across the storm’s track tomorrow to look for holdover fires from today’s activity.
Fire restrictions remain in effect for all public lands in northeastern Nevada and all open burning is banned in Elko County.
To report wildfires call (775) 738-FIRE, (775) 748-4000, or 911.