Updated June 30, 2020 - 6:05 pm
The Mahogany Fire near Mount Charleston was estimated to be about 2,800 acres on Tuesday with about 10 percent of the blaze contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
“We have roughly 240 personnel assigned to the fire with more arriving throughout the day,” said Brandon Hampton, a fire information officer for Great Basin Team 7.
Hampton said the firefighters are from across the Western U.S.
“They are from the desert Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico, also the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest,” he said.
Hampton said firefighters are using numerous techniques, including “constructing a handline, which is where they are digging through the mineral soil in a 12- to 18-inch-wide trail.”
“Once the fire reaches that trail it starves itself of fuel, and it goes out,” Hampton said. “We are also being assisted by aviation resources: water-dropping helicopters and retardant-dropping aircraft.”
Authorities said they were making progress on the fire, with cooler temperatures helping the cause, but the terrain was challenging.
“The Mount Charleston area is steep by nature,” Hampton said. “It is extremely inaccessible for some of our firefighters to get in that area safely.”
Many firefighters were out in the field all day and night Monday digging containment lines.
The 10 percent figure was an improvement from Monday, when authorities said they were at zero percent containment.
Newly arrived firefighters were gathering at a staging area at Centennial High School early Tuesday before heading out into the field.
The blaze started as a 10-acre brush fire near the Mahogany Grove Campground about 2:40 p.m. Sunday and “was likely human caused,” said Ray Johnson, a fire prevention officer with the Forest Service.
On Monday afternoon, the official size of the wildfire was reduced to 3,040 acres from 5,000 acres “due to more accurate mapping,” according to the Forest Service.
The National Weather Service said Tuesday that winds will be 10 to 15 mph in the area, which should help fire crews.
This is a developing story. Please check back for details.
Fire not threatening endangered butterfly
Withanee Milligan, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest fire information officer, said no Mount Charleston blue butterfly habitat is currently located within the fire perimeter. The blue butterfly is an extremely rare subspecies found only in the Spring Mountains west of Las Vegas. The hard-to-find, difficult-to-identify insect was added to the federal endangered species list in 2013, about a month after the Carpenter 1 Fire scorched a portion of its high-elevation habitat.