Winds that gusted up to 40 mph complicated efforts to fully contain a 100-acre wildfire on Mount Potosi that closed a portion of state Route 160 for hours Wednesday, officials said.
"They're really concerned with the winds," Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said Wednesday afternoon. "It's so windy, it could pick up an ember" and potentially rekindle the fire.
The fire was 40 percent contained by Wednesday evening.
It was discovered about 1:30 a.m. on Potosi, about 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas near the Mountain Springs area.
By 10 a.m., about 100 firefighters had gathered to battle the year's first major local wildfire, Clark County spokesman Scott Allison said.
No injuries were reported, and the nearest homes were more than a mile away and not threatened, officials said. They believe the fire was started by people.
"Whether it was a cigarette or lit intentionally, we don't know," Allison said Wednesday afternoon.
He added that the fire was "under control" and about 30 percent contained.
"The cooler temperatures and the wind direction helped," he said.
Temperatures fell to the upper 70s on Wednesday after several days of triple-digit heat. Winds were strong but blew back part of the fire into an area that had already burned.
"We've been very fortunate," Cannon said. "There's no active flame."
Winds were expected to die down today in the Las Vegas Valley and on Potosi, according to the National Weather Service.
Mostly cloudy skies were expected, with a 40 percent chance of rain showers forecast for both the mountain and the valley. Temperatures were expected to be in the mid-70s.
Firefighters from the BLM, Clark County, the U.S. Forest Service and the state Division of Forestry helped fight the Potosi fire Wednesday, Allison said.
State Route 160 was closed early in the day. Later, transportation and Nevada Highway Patrol officials began escorting vehicles through the mountain pass.
The road reopened completely by 1 p.m., Allison said.
Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0285.