Firefighters gaining upper hand against two blazes

Firefighters fully contained the 29-acre Gritty Gulch wildland fire at the Nevada National Security Site and crews were expected to have the 45-acre La Madre fire in Red Rock Canyon controlled late Thursday, authorities said.

Bureau of Land Management air crews teamed up with the security site's fire-and-rescue responders to snuff the Gritty Gulch fire, completing 24 slurry air drops on the lightning-caused blaze on Rainier Mesa's rugged terrain, about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

"The fire is 100 percent contained," officials for the site, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, said in a news release Thursday.

BLM officials said investigators determined the La Madre fire in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area was caused by lightning from a previous storm that "ignited a small, unnoticeable blaze that smoldered for a few days until conditions were dry enough to produce the 45-acre wildfire."

A "hot shot" crew from Kern Valley, Calif., worked Thursday with two local engine units to control the wildfire, three miles northwest of the Las Vegas Beltway and Summerlin Parkway, according to a BLM news release.

Two Nevada Division of Forestry crews, some engine units and all air support were released from the La Madre fire, BLM officials said.