More firefighters on the way to battle the Potosi Fire

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Strong winds and the potential for lightning in Southern Nevada is adding to the danger of battling a fire on Potosi Mountain.

The wildfire about 30 miles outside of Las Vegas has already burned more than 400 acres.

Firefighters have been able to make major headway thanks to aircraft dropping water and flame retardant on the blaze, but they’re still not out of the woods.

“Yesterday there was a lot of air activity as well as today, but we do have some hand crews on the fire tying in with the work that has been done by our aircraft,” said Marnie Bonesteel, U.S. Forest Service. 

Helicopters have dumped water over the fire which was likely started by lightning.

“I think they’re doing a great job out there getting the retardant on the line and holding it in place,” Bonesteel said. 

The hand crews are heading to some of the most remote areas of the fire.

“Some of our hand crews, what they’ll do is hike up into some of the really steep and tough terrain, really rocky terrain and just work on getting a line put around the fire,” Bonesteel said. 

There’s already multiple hand crews, fire engines and air tankers on the scene, but even more firefighters are on the way.

“Right now we have about 100 people on the fire, but by today’s end of shift we will be looking like around 200 people,” Bonesteel said. 

Working in the extreme heat can be dangerous for crews, so agencies are working to make sure firefighters don’t get overwhelmed.

“Our firefighters, they are our top priority in terms of their safety,” Bonesteel said.  

Firefighters are asking people to stay away from the area. Some rural roads south of SR 160 are closed off between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

Crews warn people not to use drones near the blaze because it can keep firefighters from being able to get their aircraft over the area.

There is a flight restriction over the Potosi Fire at the moment.

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