A fire burned through roughly 14 acres of Clark County Wetlands Park Tuesday. On Wednesday, a crew from the Nevada Division of Forestry came to the nature preserve to clean up charred earth near Tropicana and Wetlands Park.
Wednesday’s blaze sent plumes of smoke high into the sky over the valley, causing it to be seen for miles.
“We went out and looked at it, and it was really blazing,” said John McQueen, a man who lives next to Wetlands Park.
“I Saw the smoke was lit up orange; a bright orange,” said Steven McQueen, lives next to Wetlands Park. “It looked like it was right close to us. Ugh, it was close. I was worried that we might have to evacuate.”
But they did not have to evacuate. In fact, the father and son duo didn’t leave their home last night. On Wednesday, they decided to visit the park to get a closer look at the damage.
Wednesday’s fire was the fifth fire to scorch the grounds in the last year. However, the McQueens haven’t let that deter them from living near the wetlands area.
“I’m not going to move just cause of a possibility of some problem, we have insurance, so what the heck,” Steve McQueen said.
Other park goers and residents share the same sentiment.
“It’s worth the risk I think, coming to the park, living close by,” said Gerald Brown, a park visitor.
The fire ddidn’t destroy any buildings or injure anyone, but it did sear vegetation.
“So all of this was Reed,” said Elizabeth Bickmore
Common Reed is a native, but an invasive plant in the park.
“It’s a less desirable species,” Bickmore said.
Staff with Wetlands Park are already planning ways to replace habitat loss so that new life can rise from the ashes.
“So hopefully we can come in with Cotton Woods, Goodding Willows; really nice big trees so that it can outcompete the Reed,” Bickmore said.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.