Earth Watch Report – Forest / Wild Fire
|05.07.2013||Forest / Wild Fire||USA||State of Nevada, [Mount Charleston, near to Pahrump]|
Forest / Wild Fire in USA on Friday, 05 July, 2013 at 03:29 (03:29 AM) UTC.
|It is day four of the Carpenter One wildfire on the back side of Mount Charleston near Pahrump and there is still no containment. A mandatory evacuation order for the Trout Canyon area was issued on Thursday afternoon. According to the Bureau of Land Management, 21 homes are affected. It is not known though if all of those homes are currently occupied. The latest estimate on the size of the wildfire is 1,250 acres. At one point, the BLM estimated the size at almost 2,000 acres but lowered that number later. The reason for the mandatory evacuation because changing weather patterns increased the likelihood of the fire moving towards the homes. A shelter is being opened at the Hafen Elementary School in Pahrump and the American Red Cross will be providing assistance.|
Mount Charleston ‘closed’ as growing wildfire threatens homes
Fanned by increasing winds, a burgeoning wildfire began descending the east side of Mount Charleston on Thursday, prompting mandatory evacuations and sending cars full of residents and their possessions down the mountain.
The building winds made it difficult to fight the blaze encroaching Kyle Canyon, Las Vegas police spokesman Bill Cassell said. At 9:45 p.m., the fire was climbing the west side of Cathedral Rock.
The wildfire kindled by lightning Monday morning in Carpenter Canyon, on the west side of the Spring Mountains, has grown beyond the 1,250 acres reported before 1 p.m. Thursday and has crested the peak of Mount Charleston, officials said.
Multiple sources told the Review-Journal that the fire was descending the ridge between Griffith and Mount Charleston peaks. The Bureau of Land Management said late Thursday no reports of structure damage had been made. Officials did not update information about the size of the fire or exact location throughout the night.
Trout Canyon, near the original source of the fire, also was evacuated, and a shelter was set up in Pahrump for the residents of the 21 houses there.
Officials began evacuating Lee Canyon, which neighbors Kyle Canyon, late Thursday night.
“They told me to get off the mountain,” Rose Meranto, a resident of Old Town in Kyle Canyon said. “They just said don’t waste time and go. So I got my kitty cats and my son’s cats and I moved.”
About 500 people were affected by Thursday’s escalating rounds of evacuations. At 11 p.m., Cassell said officers were returning to the homes of those who were reluctant to leave and requiring them to do so as a matter of public safety.
“Mount Charleston is closed,” Cassell said.
It’s not known when evacuees will be allowed to return to their homes. It’s common in a blaze like this for evacuations to last seven to 14 days, Cassell said fire officials told him.
State routes 156 and 157 at U.S. Highway 95 leading to Mount Charleston have been closed, along with Trout Canyon Road at state Route 160.
No one is being permitted up the mountain.
“The fire reached the trigger point; burning embers are shooting out,” Cassell said.
A Review-Journal reporter in the Rainbow community on Mount Charleston witnessed flames twice as tall as the pine trees overlooking Kyle Canyon before they were obscured by smoke.
Sue Mowbray, a tourist staying in a Rainbow cabin with her children, said: “The sky was just bright red. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
As Mowbray went down the mountain, she noticed people still at campsites. She left on her own at 5 p.m., before she was told about the evacuation.