an member station
Jay Nicoles, US Forest Service
Michele Steinberg, Comunities Program Manager, Firewise, National Fire Protection Association
Janet Masanz, resident of Mt. Charleston
(Photo: Las Vegas Sun)
BY ERIK HELLING -- The fire in Carpenter Canyon has continued to grow, catching the attention of residents of the valley and the surrounding area. The Carpenter 1 fire has torched Carpenter Canyon, and due to the dry temperatures and wind, has expanded up to 25,000 acres. For now, firefighters are working to contain the fire and stop it from reaching the residences in the Mount Charleston area.
Suzanne Shelp, spokesperson for the U.S Forest Service, provided an update on the fire, saying that the fire containment as of this morning has dropped down to ten percent.
“The biggest challenge is the weather; the hot, dry temperatures, the dry fuels, and the wind,” said Shelp.
Despite the growing blaze, Shelp stresses that there’s no concern for the fire reaching the houses anytime soon.
“Part of the fire that’s still hung up in those cliff bands over that bowl above the homes is staying there, and there’s a fire line they constructed around the residences. They’re feeling real confident about that one,” said Shelp.
The main danger of the fire, according to Shelp, is the weather. The wind would be a negative factor to the fire, but she remains hopeful that the predicted rain will help firefighters.
Janet Masanz, a resident of the Mt. Charleston area for 23 years, was evicted from her home along with her family on July 4.
“It was frightening, they told us we needed to pack our stuff and leave,” said Masanz.
When being evacuated, Metro officers told Masanz and family they had 10 minutes to pack up their belongings. Masanz explains that the family chose to live up there because of the beautiful scenery, but were aware of the possible dangers.
“You take the good with the bad when you live on the mountain,” said Masanz.
Michele Steinberg, of Communities Program Manager for Firewise, has advice on fireproofing homes. He says having a non-flammable roof is key, as well as cleaning out gutters and flat surfaces of any possible debris.
“The reason homes ignite is not because of the large flames coming from the head of the fire, its embers. They get onto the home itself or get into grasses and brush near the home and carry the flames right into the home,” said Steinberg
Another problem with possible wildfires is overhanging decks, according to Steinberg.
“The slope is where the view is. Unfortunately, the slope is also where the fire will typically travel through vegetation very, very quickly. Fire likes to run uphill,” said Steinberg.