weather icon Clear

Wildfire on Mount Charleston scorches 5,000 acres near Las Vegas

Updated June 29, 2020 - 8:19 am

A wind-fueled wildfire swept through Mount Charleston on Sunday, claiming thousands of acres and sending up a plume of smoke that could be seen across the Las Vegas Valley.

Related: Mount Charleston wildfire likely caused by humans, fire official says

The Mahogany Fire started as a 10-acre brush fire near Archery Range and Deer Creek roads about 2:40 p.m. Deer Creek Road connects Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon roads.

By 7:30 p.m., the fire had consumed 5,000 acres and was at zero percent containment, according to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Mike Welch said evacuations at Lee Canyon were voluntary.

Ray Johnson, a fire prevention officer for the U.S. Forest Service, said crews are expected to arrive overnight.

“They may be starting suppression operations tonight, but that will depend on weather,” Johnson said.

High winds and a lack of resources meant conditions were unsafe for firefighters on Sunday, he said.

Johnson said officials expect winds to drop off Monday, which would allow for the use of air support. Winds on Sunday prevented aircraft from flying in the area, he said.

He said fire activity should drop overnight with temperatures falling, humidity rising and winds letting up.

The cause of the fire is unknown, he said.

Strong winds moved into the Las Vegas Valley on Sunday, with gusts of up to 40 mph recorded at McCarran International Airport. The National Weather Service issued a 12-hour wind advisory that started at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The Spring Mountain Youth Camp, 2400 Angel Peak Place, was evacuated, according to the Clark County Fire Department.

The fire also forced “hard closures” on Deer Creek, Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon roads for at least 72 hours, the Nevada Highway Patrol tweeted late Sunday.

Temporary shelter

NV Energy tweeted just before 4:30 p.m. that power lines at Mount Charleston have been de-energized at the request of fire officials. The company said power would be restored “when it is safe to do so,” which could be Monday.

The Red Cross has opened an evacuation center for displaced residents at Bilbray Elementary School, 9370 Brent Lane.

Alan Diskin, executive director of the Red Cross of Southern Nevada, said the center was up and running by 9 p.m., but no families had arrived by 11. He said the Red Cross expects some families to come to the center overnight because power is shut off.

When families arrive at the center they’ll be assigned a case manager who will help determine what services they need — clothing, toiletries, food, shelter.

But shelter services look a little different now because of COVID-19.

Diskin said the Red Cross used to set up large shelters that could house many affected families, but now, in an effort to maintain social distancing, they’re partnering with Boyd Gaming Corp. to put families up in a hotel room as long as they need shelter.

The Fire Department said the Mount Charleston Fire Protection District, the U.S. Forest Service and the Las Vegas Fire Department are responding. There were no reported injuries as of about 4:50 p.m.

Chelsea Abate was on her way to the Mount Charleston Lodge when she spotted white pillars of smoke Sunday afternoon.

“At first we didn’t know what it was, but then once it started turning darker, we knew it was a wildfire,” she said.

She said people appeared to be calm walking back to their cars from their hikes. Abate also said she saw staff from the lodge evacuate the parking lot.

“You could smell the smoke in the air,” Abate said.

She didn’t feel like she was in danger, she said, because winds were blowing away from her location.

Meanwhile, a fire that began Friday night just northwest of Reno had burned nearly 5½ square miles of grass and brush as of Sunday with 10 percent containment.

Sunday’s fire on Mount Charleston ignited nearly seven years to the date of the beginning of the massive Carptenter 1 fire, which burned for more than a month and claimed nearly 28,000 acres of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.

Contact Alexis Ford at aford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexisdford on Twitter. Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Videos
Las Vegas police officer Shay Mikalonis moved to spinal cord center.
Paralyzed Las Vegas police officer Shay Mikalonis was being transferred to an out-of-state medical facility Wednesday morning for treatment of a severe spinal cord injury. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mahagony fire timelapse
Timelapse of Mt.Charleston Mahogany fire as seen from Skye Canyon. (Andrea Leal)
Summerlin will have virtual 4th of July parade - Video
The Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade will be held virtually this year on July 4. Golden Knights players Nate Schmidt and Alec Martinez will take part. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Effort to fight illegal fireworks resumes for Fourth of July (PSAs) - Video
Law enforcement in Clark County will take part in the interagency "You Light It, We Write It” campaign to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas Valley this Fourth of July. (Clark County)
Henderson police officers test positive for COVID-19 - Video
Two officers with the Henderson Police Department received positive test results for coronavirus on June 21, 2020. The officers were assigned to the Training and Development Unit. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tech problems on DMV website cause long lines - Video
Las Vegas residents have been standing in line for hours frustrated because they can't make an appointment on the Department of Motor Vehicles website due to technical issues. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News COVID-19 testing site opening at Texas Station - Video
The Texas Station site is operating in addition to the drive-thru testing site in the UNLV Tropicana parking garage next to the Thomas & Mack Center. Both sites are operated by Clark County and University Medical Center in partnership with the Nevada National Guard. (Renee Summerour and Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Lives Matter protest mural on Juneteenth - Video
Amy Van Rosen with the Good All Day Collective joins volunteers to create a Black Lives Matter protest mural on the Majestic Repertory Theatre building in downtown Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada tribal nations keep their people safe from coronavirus - Video
Tribal members at Walker River Paiute Tribe's Walker River Indian Reservation in Schurz and at Reno-Sparks Indian Colony's Hungry Valley Reservation take care of their own in the age of coronavirus. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Victims of the Alpine fire discuss life after 6 months - Video
Residents who were victims in the Alpine Apartment Fire on Dec. 21 recall what happened and some of the struggles they are facing after six months. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family welcomes baby during pandemic in Spain - Video
Henderson native Air Force Maj. Chris Stein, stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, and his wife dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, diagnoses for COVID-19 and having an unexpected home birth for their third child. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jara to present school reopening plan to CCSD board next week - VIDEO
A much-anticipated plan for reopening doors at the Clark County School District will come before the board next week, according to Superintendent Jesus Jara.
Foster mom corrals an armful of kids at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children - Video
Tytaliayah Parker cares her five foster kids and her biological daughter at St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Boulder City. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Resident of apartment complex where fire occurred said he didn’t hear fire alarm - Video
Travis Mattsson, who has lived at Siegel Suites Las Vegas Boulevard for a year, said he didn’t hear a fire alarm in his unit. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vigil held in downtown Las Vegas - VIDEO
The Forced Trajectory Project conducted a vigil downtown on Saturday evening to honor those lost to police violence. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Volunteer drivers deliver restaurant-quality meals to those in need - Video
Graffiti Bao, a restaurant, is partnering with Delivering with Dignity to provide restaurant-quality meals to those in need. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Black Lives Matter, anti-racism rally held in Las Vegas - Video
More than 1,000 people protested peacefully in Kianga Isoke Palacio Park near Doolittle Community Center in the Historic Westside neighborhood of Las Vegas on Friday night, June 5. It was a Black Lives Matter rally and candlelight vigil for George Floyd and other black Americans who have died in confrontations with police. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Soul City WiFi Project brings free internet to Historic Westside Las Vegas - Video
Steven Williams, president of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation speaks at a press conference about the creation of a free WiFi network to help underserved communities, followed by a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Academic Excellence Awards 2020 - Video
The Las Vegas Review Journal's Academic Excellence program is designed to recognized 1st thru 12th grade students in Southern Nevada who exhibit academic achievement, community involvement, and leadership in and out of the classroom.
A motorist driving recklessly lost control of their vehicle and smashed into a house
Las Vegas police said a motorist driving recklessly lost control of their vehicle, which then smashed into a house at 401 South Torrey Pines Drive. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @reviewjournal
Las Vegas police briefing on shooting during Black Lives Matter protest
Sheriff Joe Lombardo briefs the media on shootings during the Black Lives Matter protest that left one man dead and a Metro officer in critical condition on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Areas of Red Rock Canyon reopen - Video
The BLM Southern Nevada District reopened access to areas of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on June 1, 2020, including; Red Rock Canyon Scenic Drive, Red Rock Overlook, Late Night Trailhead, Red Spring Boardwalk, Calico Basin and Kraft Mountain Trailheads. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rebel store looted
The manager of a Rebel gas station talks about looting at the Tropicana and Koval store over the weekend. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fremont Street Experience is counting down to reopening - Video
A countdown clock is running for the reopening of the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas on Friday afternoon, May 29, 2020. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossFit Apollo reopens after COVID-19 shutdown - Video
CrossFit Apollo gym co-owner and a member talk about their first day back, Friday, May 29, 2020, after gyms and fitness centers were closed during the coronavirus shutdown. (Glenn Puit and Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gym owner Rob Martinez talks about reopening.
Rob Martinez, owner of The Gym Las Vegas, talks about reopening his gym under Phase Two of Nevada's reopening plan. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas gyms reopen.
Desiree Ford talks about getting back to the gym after Nevada moves into Phase Two of its reopening plan. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossFit gym reopens
Chad Cole, co-owner of CrossFit Apollo, talks about the reopening of his gym as Nevada moves into Phase Two. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Train carrying decommissioned nuclear reactor passes through Las Vegas - VIDEO
The train carrying a decommissioned nuclear reactor vessel from Southern California is passing through Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MountainView Hospital protest
Nurses at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas hold a protest Thursday morning over what they say are planned layoffs and pay cuts by the hospital’s owner, HCA Healthcare. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
COVID-19 testing site moves to UNLV Tropicana parking garage - Video
New Clark County COVID-19 testing site at UNLV Tropicana Avenue parking garage opens Wednesday and includes pediatric and walk-up testing. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Southern Nevada Health District COVID-19 update
Southern Nevada Health District staff conduct a video briefing to provide updates about the public health agency’s COVID-19 response in Clark County.
Neighborhood rallies behind grad amid the coronavirus lockdown
Riley Lynn Thacker's mom put a sign in their yard to congratulate her daughter completing her senior year and neighbors followed suit. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada’s 32 venomous creatures: Stay safe with these tips

Nevada’s venomous rattlesnakes, Gila monsters and scorpions all can bite or sting. Here are tips to have positive interactions with wildlife in your backyard or hiking.