LAS VEGAS (KLAS-TV) – Firefighters are getting a better handle on the Mahogany Fire burning on Mount Charleston. As of Wednesday morning, the wildfire was 10% contained and following aerial mapping, the amount of scorched land has been downsized to 2,794 acres.
Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon Roads reopened on Tuesday. Both areas are available for hiking and campgrounds at Kyle Canyon are also open.
The nearly 3,000-acre fire started near Deer Creek Road Sunday afternoon.
The fire crew battling the mountain blaze has increased to 420 people. So far, there is no major impact to wildlife and no injuries or property damage associated with the fire. The cause has still not been determined.
“If you remember from a couple days ago it was affecting Las Vegas but today we have clear skies, really no smoke showing on the fire this morning. That may change this afternoon. We still need to let the public know that conditions are very dry,” said Kyle Johnson, fire prevention officer, U.S. Forest Service.
Deer Creek Road, or State Route 158, which connects State Routes 156 and 157 remains closed.
According to NV Energy, power was restored to everyone in the area Monday.
The fire started Sunday afternoon near the Mahogany Grove Campground, which is about half-way up the mountain.
“We were much more effective today,” said Ray Johnson, Fire Prevention Officer with the U.S. Forest Service.
The cause of the Mahogany Fire is still under investigation. For people who live in the area, seeing all of the smoke on Mount Charleston brought back memories of the Carpenter 1 Fire of 2013.
That fire started almost exactly seven years ago, due to a lightning strike. Experts say both blazes have similarities, including starting just days before the Fourth of July, but they also are drastically different.
“They both had a lot of extreme fire behavior,” Johnson said. “The Mahogany fire burned 3,040 acres or so in one day. The Carpenter Fire, when it first started, wasn’t burning that actively.”
The Carpenter 1 Fire eventually consumed around 28,000 acres on Mount Charleston.
Fire officials say what caused the Mahogany Fire to spread so rapidly — were the gusty winds. While the winds were extremely strong Sunday, they have since calmed down, so airdrops of retardent are expected to continue.
Experts at the National Weather Service tell 8 News Now the conditions should remain mild throughout the week.
“They should be able to get a pretty good handle on this fire over the next few days,” said Andy Gorelow, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The Carpenter 1 Fire took about eight weeks to contain. But Gorelow says what can help this time around is updated technology.
“Our model resolution has been a lot greater, so we can see wind patterns a lot better than we could before,” Gorelow said.
The same goes for the U.S. Forest Service.
“Some of the technology on the aircraft, the GPS units, some of the infrared-type equipment are little more updated now than they were a few years ago,” Johnson said.
It’s all a good sign as the firefight continues.
Another great similarity between both the Mahogany and Carpenter 1 Fires is no injuries have been reported.