UPDATE: Cottonwood Fire caused by lightning, containment at 97%

Local News

Photo courtesy of Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) UPDATE: Investigators say lightning is what caused the 2,817-acres Cottonwood Fire, located in the Cottonwood Pass area south of Highway 160.

As of 10 a.m. Saturday, it is 97% contained. There is currently 193 personnel working to fully contain the fire that sparked Monday, July 20.

Stage II fire restrictions remain in effect for the state of Nevada.  For more information regarding fire restrictions please click HERE.

7/24 UPDATE: As of 8:45 p.m. Thursday, the Cottonwood Fire located in the Cottonwood Pass area south of Highway 160 is 93% contained. It remains at 2,834 acres.

According to Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, the Cottonwood Fire Temporary Flight Restriction will be lifted at 9 p.m.

There are currently 184 personnel working to contain the blaze that sparked Monday morning.

7/23 UPDATE: As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Cottonwood Fire located in the Cottonwood Pass area south of Highway 160, has grown to 2,834 acres. According to Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, containment on the fire, burning between Pahrump and Las Vegas, has now increased to 30 percent.

Officials report that 50 residences are threatened by the fire.

There are currently 226 personnel working to contain the blaze that sparked Monday morning.

The Temporary Flight Restriction, or TFR, has now been lifted over the fire which has affected the approach and departure routes for McCarran International Airport. This fire is now no longer a concern affecting flight paths for McCarran Airport.

Another Red Flag Warning is in effect Wednesday for strong winds and low humidities, as well as high temperatures.

Officials say smoke may continue to be visible from the fire Wednesday, especially from southwest Las Vegas. 

The cause of the Cottonwood Fire is still under investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY — 7/20/2020: The brush fire that is said to be burning in the mountains southwest of the Las Vegas valley in grass, sage, and brush, mixed with some pinyon and juniper, started Monday before 9:00 a.m.

The Cottonwood Fire located in the Cottonwood Pass area south of Highway 160, is estimated to have grown to 700-800 acres. The brush fire that is said to be burning in the mountains southwest of the Las Vegas valley in grass, sage, and brush, mixed with some pinyon and juniper, started Monday before 9:00 a.m.

According to Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, ground and air resources have been working together to establish an anchor point and begin to build a containment line around the flanks or sides of the fire. Additional crews and aircraft have been ordered and will be arriving throughout the day. 

Currently, air tankers are using retardant to coat the vegetation to try and inhibit the fire’s spread, as well as performing point protection for the communications site on top of Potosi Mountain as a precaution. A type 2 helicopter has begun bucket drops to help cool the fire’s edge.

Photo courtesy of Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest.

The fire is running, especially when it aligns with area drainages and wind. It is currently moving to the northeast. 

Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest officials say meteorologists are reporting isolated showers and thunderstorms are forecasted for the rest of today, with the potential for gusty and erratic outflow winds to affect fire behavior, along with a Red Flag Warning that is in effect until Tuesday night. 

Neither Highway 160 nor any communities are currently threatened.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, though lightning has recently been in the general area. A Type 3 Interagency Incident Management Team has been ordered.

For more information on the Cottonwood Fire as it becomes available, please visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6871/

Other fires currently burning in Nevada:

  • Big Summit: The fire in Lincoln County is the state’s largest at 8,461 acres. It started a week ago and spans the Nevada-Utah border northeast of Panaca, with more than 640 personnel working the fire and 54% containment. The cause is unknown.
  • Stewart Canyon: The 7,000-acre fire in Lincoln County was discovered Sunday. At 11% contained, the fire is burning in a remote area east of Alamo. About 150 personnel are fighting the fire
  • Shafter: At 90% contained, the fire is just north of I-80 between Wells and West Wendover in Elko County. About 100 people are fighting the fire.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories