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Fire on Mount Potosi now 45 percent contained

Updated July 9, 2017 - 10:02 pm

Firefighters are making progress on containing the wildfire burning on the west side of Mount Potosi, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Forest Service reported about 8:30 p.m. Sunday the wildfire is about 45 percent contained, and is still burning over 420 acres. The fire, located about 28 miles southwest of Las Vegas, was ignited by a lightning strike Thursday evening.

Firefighters continued to work around the edges of the fire on Sunday to keep it from spreading, despite excessive heat and and the steep, rocky terrain, the Forest Service said.

More than 100 personnel are battling the blaze, according to the Forest Service, including two hand crews, four engines, a helicopter, 15 supervisors and eight “smokejumpers” — firefighters who parachute into remote areas to fight wildfires.

On Saturday, Forest Service spokeswoman Marnie Bonesteel said firefighters at Mount Potosi were having issues with private drones in the area.

It’s illegal to operate drones over wildfires, because they disrupt firefighting efforts and can endanger crews in the air and on the ground.

The Forest Service is asking the public to avoid Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management roads south of State Route 160.

The Boy Scouts of America’s Kimball Scout Reservation Camp voluntarily evacuated Friday.

The fire near Mount Potosi is one of several wildfires burning across Nevada, though several in northern Nevada have eased up.

That allowed officials to release resources as the state remains on guard for additional fires to pop up with the potentially fire-inducing weather.

Triple-digit temperatures and the potential for thunderstorms and wind gusts as high as 50 mph are contributing to the hot and unstable conditions.

The largest wildfire has been blazing since Monday, burning about 155 square miles of land just north of Wadsworth in Washoe County. It’s now 83 percent contained.

The 65-square-mile fire northeast of Sparks near Reno is 75 percent contained.

Firefighters worked through the night on the wildfire near Palomino Valley, which is 55 percent contained after growing to about 7.5 square miles. The wildfire got close to hundreds of people and horse ranches in the area and has charred one sprawling property.

A second wildfire in the Palomino Valley was started by lightning on Saturday. It has grown to about a third of a square mile in size.

Officials also said firefighters are coordinating efforts with ranchers to protect grazing allotments affected by a 100-square-mile wildfire that is burning brush and tall grass near the town of Wells in Elko County. It was 50 percent contained.

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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