Residents of Trout and Lovell canyons who fled the Carpenter 1 Fire that has since grown to more than 43 square miles will be allowed to return home Sunday morning, according to Las Vegas police.
Access will be permitted starting at 10 a.m. after residents provide proof of residence, such as a driver’s license or utility bill, at checkpoints staffed by law enforcement and volunteers.
Approximately 30 people live in Trout and Lovell canyons. About half of the houses there are vacation or summer homes, according to Clark County officials.
Police anticipate that a day after residents re-enter the two canyons, the public will be allowed in as well.
It wasn’t immediately known when Lee and Kyle canyons, which house about 350 residents combined, will reopen.
County emergency officials reminded residents to be cautious when returning home. There are many aspects of wildfire aftermath to consider, such as safety from leftover debris and animals that might have snuck in, and the importance of taking photographs for insurance.
Nearly 1,300 fire personnel continued to battle the flames that consumed 27,881 acres, or roughly 43.5 square miles, of the Spring Mountains as of Saturday morning.
Fire containment Saturday morning was 45 percent, the same as Friday’s. Full containment is still expected by July 19.
Six structures were lost to the fire Wednesday, but officials remained confident in their protection of Kyle Canyon.
ACCIDENT BRINGS FATIGUE CAUTION
Fire officials at a crew briefing Saturday stressed the dangers of fatigue.
A vehicle accident on state Route 157 involving fire crews caused property damage Friday night. Although no one was hurt in the accident, it was used as a reminder to be safe.
Friday’s weather brought relief and havoc to firefighters as flash flood warnings were issued in the mountains for most of the afternoon.
An estimated 2.15 inches of rain fell in the Harris Spring Canyon area that was ravaged by the fire, according to the National Weather Service.
Fire crews in the area had to relocate to higher ground. They had planned to repair washed-out roads Saturday.
The rain helped cool the wildfire, but there is a slim chance of rain on Sunday, according to the weather service.
A public information meeting is scheduled at the Red Rock Visitor Center, 1000 Scenic Loop Drive, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. All residents and community members were encouraged to attend.
Fire officials said they’ve gone through more water and Gatorade compared to other fires, given the hotter climate of Southern Nevada.
“We are not used to 105-degree temperatures,” said Megan Timony, logistics section chief for the Carpenter 1 Fire.
Water bottles and other donations have poured in to firefighters.
Timony said she appreciates the donations, but also noted that due to health precautions, they cannot accept hot, cooked food that must be kept at certain temperatures.
“We have had a lot of donations and the people of Las Vegas were so generous and we thank them,” she said.
KYLE SPIKE CAMP
Helicopters swooped down Saturday, dipping buckets into makeshift water containers and then carrying their loads to the fire’s hot spots. From the ground, people like lead crewman Bill Pierson monitor wind conditions and the surrounding area, letting the pilots know it’s safe to make their descent.
Water trucks spray the area around the pools of water to keep dust down as the helicopters descend.
At the Kyle Spike Camp, Doug Cap gets up before 5 a.m. each day. He is one of two managers at the base camp, where some 325 firefighters go to eat, wash up and rest at the end of each shift.
Cap once worked the front lines. At 61, he said he has happily made the transition to logistics. Now his job is to make sure the camp has the necessary supplies, from food to sunscreen to coffee.
“The fire gets in your blood,” said Cap, who started fighting forest fires in 1988.
Part of his job is to give a good send-off for the firefighters at the start of each day.
“If you can start the day off with a hot cup of coffee, you’re pretty happy,” said Cap, who is based with the National Park Service in southeast Arizona when he’s not at a Spike camp.
Crates of Gatorade and water bottles are stacked on the camp grounds.
When a spike camp is set up, he works to get the crucial supplies as quickly as possible.
“The first thing you’re praying for is porta potties,” he said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact reporter Annalise Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0264.