A spark on a White Pine County target shooting range was blamed Tuesday for a wildfire that damaged power transmission lines in eastern Nevada, while authorities traced the start of an unrelated fire that briefly threatened homes near Reno to the crash of a stolen vehicle.
The driver of the SUV set fire to the inside of the Toyota Land Cruiser before abandoning it and escaping on foot while the Pinehaven Fire spread Monday afternoon to about 150 acres in Reno’s Caughlin Ranch area, said Eric Guevin, spokesman for the Sierra Front interagency fire center.
Throughout the state, officials said that no structures were threatened and that no injuries were reported in several fires burning as crackling-dry Nevada prepared to mark Independence Day.
Crews had 90 percent containment of the Pinehaven Fire by Tuesday, allowing about 120 firefighters to focus on the 200-acre Ironwood Fire in the Palomino Valley near Reno.
Guevin said investigators were looking for the cause of that fire after it was reported Monday evening off Pyramid Highway and Ironwood Road. About a dozen homes were initially threatened.
In Ely, federal Bureau of Land Management spokesman Chris Hanefeld said firefighters reported 15 percent containment of the nearly six-square-mile Range Fire about three miles northeast of the city.
The fire started just after noon Monday on a county shooting range near BLM offices and spread to pinion-juniper, mountain mahogany, sagebrush and grass in steep terrain near Moser Canyon.
Electricity was interrupted overnight for about 400 rural customers in eastern Nevada and western Utah before it was restored by Tuesday morning.
Mt. Wheeler Power Co. manager Kevin Robison said crews worked overnight to repair charred power poles and damaged lines.
About 350 firefighters led by an incident management team from Northern California battled the more than 11-square-mile Egan Fire in a remote and rugged area in and outside the South Egan Wilderness southeast of Lund, Hanefeld said.