A trio of wildfires in north-central and northeast Nevada continued to grow, burning up tens of thousands of acres of prime mule deer and game bird habitat in largely unpopulated parts of the state. But shifting winds on Tuesday allowed several dozen residents to return to the tiny mining town of Tuscarora after one blaze forced mandatory evacuations the night before.
Mallory Eils, spokeswoman for the multi-agency fire incident team, said the Indian Creek fire “caused a little bit of concern” late Monday.
“But they got a bulldozer line around it and no structures have been burned,” she said. She said widespread rainfall and much cooler temperatures were expected to move in early Wednesday.
More than 500 firefighters have battled the flames across an area equal to 250 square miles since lightening touched off the fires making up the Dunphy complex on Friday and Saturday. Fire officials say no injuries or property damage has been reported beyond a pair of abandoned mining shacks.
In western Nevada, firefighters continued to hold the line on the 1,062-acre Burbank fire in Smith Valley southeast of Gardnerville. It was estimated to be more than one-quarter contained Tuesday with full containment projected by Saturday.
Some homes remained threatened by fire but the threat had been greatly reduced Monday night thanks to a fuel break the Bureau of Land Management crews built between most homes and where the fire was burning in Burbank Canyon, Sierra Front Interagency dispatcher Helen Frazier said.
The evacuation in Tuscarora was lifted about 10 a.m. Tuesday for residents of the community about 20 miles north of Interstate 80 but area closures remain in place for hunting and recreational traffic.
Strong winds had pushed the Indian Creek fire toward Tuscarora Monday afternoon, forcing the evacuation as firefighters set up protection around structures and bulldozed fire lines.