The Latest: Wildfire shuts highway at Nevada-California line

 
31 August 2017

published by https://www.washingtonpost.com


USA -  RENO, Nev. ó The Latest on wildfires burning across the western United States (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

Evacuation orders have been lifted at a wildfire on the California-Nevada line but a long stretch of highway is still closed in both directions.

No injuries have been reported or buildings lost, but the fire has burned about 8 square miles (21 square kilometers) of sagebrush and scrubby pine trees along the Sierra Nevadaís eastern front.

The town of Topaz just south of the state line was evacuated as a precaution after the lightning-sparked blaze broke out Wednesday night. But residents were allowed to return to their homes by noon Thursday.

A 65-mile (105-kilometer) stretch of U.S. Highway 395 remains closed from south of Gardnerville, all the way to Bridgeport, California, at the intersection with California State Highway 182.

1:15 p.m.

An official says firefighters are battling a lightning-sparked wildfire in a remote part of the vast former national nuclear proving ground north of Las Vegas.

Nevada National Security Site spokeswoman Tracy Bower said Thursday that the fire covers almost 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) in the western part of what used to be the Nevada Test Site.

More than 1,000 nuclear detonations occurred at the 1,360-square-mile (3522-square-kilometer) secure federal reservation from 1951 to 1992. It now hosts non-nuclear experiments and safety training.

Bower didnít have immediate information about the exact location of the fire or what tests may have taken place in the burn area in the past.

She says the fire started Monday and isnít considered a threat to people or buildings.

Itís being fought by security site fire crews, with help from a helicopter able to detect any aerial release of radiation.

11:30 a.m.

Fire crews battling a wildfire that has destroyed 10 homes near the Northern California town of Oroville were able to slow its growth overnight.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday that the blaze about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Sacramento had consumed nearly 5 square miles (13 square kilometers) and was partially contained. Itís still threatening 500 homes.

It says fire crews from across California are joining more than 1,000 firefighters battling the fire that started Tuesday.

Itís one of many wildfires burning across the U.S. West, including blazes in and around Californiaís Yosemite National Park that have closed a popular road into the park, shuttered the iconic Wawona Hotel and evacuated nearby towns.

About 58 homes near the park were destroyed earlier this summer.

11 a.m.

Firefighters battling a wildfire near the Burning Man festival say theyíre trying to keep the main highway open to the counterculture celebration in the Nevada desert.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Gordon says State Route 447 connecting Interstate 80 to the festival was closed for several hours overnight but reopened Thursday morning.

Gordon says traffic is moving in both directions but itís ďvery slow going.Ē

Interagency fire spokesman John Gaffney says the biggest priority is protecting about a half dozen ranches threatened by the fire that has burned about 45 square miles (116 square kilometers).

The blaze is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Burning Man.

11:45 p.m.

Ten homes have been destroyed and 500 more are threatened near the Northern California town of Oroville.

The area has already been hard-hit by fire and a massive evacuation earlier this year caused by damage to sections of the nationís tallest dam.

Authorities on Wednesday arrested a man suspected of starting an illegal campfire believed to have ignited the blaze that has also damaged five homes.

Itís one of many wildfires burning across the U.S. West, including blazes in and around Californiaís Yosemite National Park that have closed a popular road into the park, shuttered the iconic Wawona Hotel and evacuated nearby towns.

About 58 homes near the park were destroyed earlier this summer.

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