Lightning causes two fires in Mt. Charleston area


Crews are now hard at work trying to contain both blazes. The Trout Canyon fire is burning about 50 acres. At last check, the U.S. Forest Service says it is around 85 percent contained. The Willow fire is scorching land to the north. That blaze, just one-fourth of an acre, is almost fully contained.

Crews have been making some significant progress in a short amount of time. The U.S. Forest Service says both fires were burning near mountain communities, so they are trying to act fast to keep everyone safe.

Aerial images show the brush damage at Trout Canyon. Much of the 50 acres of land is now covered in ash and red-colored fire retardant. The U.S. Forest Service says they started battling the blaze within 30 minutes on Saturday.

“That is a very good response time,” said Carrie Thaler, the District Management Officer of the Spring Mountains National Recreational Area within the U.S. Forest Service. “There’s so many big fires, I’m sure that they’re all over the news right now, so what we want is to find the fires and keep them small.”

That is especially the case because the Trout Canyon community is less than two miles away.

“Keeping the fire contained and not allowing it to reach the community is still our highest priority,” Thaler said.

Just North of Trout Canyon, crews are wrapping up their fight against the Willow Fire. Although it was much smaller, the flames were only a mile and a half away from the Cold Creek community.

Thaler says the Trout Canyon fire has a larger-than-average response: four engines, one air attack, one hand crew and two helicopters. Thaler says they are not taking any chances after the devastation caused by the Carpenter One Fire, five years ago this month.

“The fuels are nearing how dry the fuels were for the Carpenter 1 fire, so it’s very important for us to have resources around and available to respond to any new starts,” Thaler said.

Thaler says it is better to be safe than sorry.

“It’s easier to order them and turn them around if they’re not needed, then not order them and second-guess yourself and all of a sudden have it blow up,” Thaler said.

Thaler says crews will continue to work on the fires until they are confident each area is secure. The U.S. Forest Service expects to reach full containment for both blazes by Sunday evening around 7 p.m.

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