If your summer plans include bagging Wheeler Peak, Nevada’s second highest, you might want to hold off for a bit. A lightning-ignited blaze dubbed the Strawberry Fire is burning in Great Basin National Park and has closed the Wheeler Peak campground and scenic drive.
That’s the bad news. Here’s the worse news: Strawberry is only one of seven Nevada wildfires that have burned more than 205,000 acres in the last 90 days. As Strawberry scars a national park, the Overland Fire in the Ruby Mountains is devouring mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope habitat. An official announcement this morning about fire restrictions on BLM and Forest Service land in Northern Nevada cited “increased fuels due to the wet winter and spring, dying vegetation, long-term drought conditions and increasing daytime temperatures” as creating a tinderbox-like environment.
“It’s still a hot, dry summer, and we have a month or so left of fire season,” the Forest Service’s Naaman Horn told Desert Companion. “We want people to be aware of that and be careful when they’re out recreating. They should contact the office of the agency that covers any area they’re planning to visit to find out about incidents or restrictions.”
Here’s a summary of the active fires listed on the federal government’s Incident Information System, along with contact information for the relevant BLM district office.
- Hot Pot Fire: Lander County about 35 miles north of Battle Mountain; 122,292 acres; 100 percent contained; in patrol and monitor status; Elko District, 775-753-0200
- Jackpot Fire: Washoe County about 10 miles northwest of Reno; 1,700 acres; 60 percent contained; full containment was expected by August 9; Carson City District, 775-885-6000
- Overland Fire: White Pine County, five miles south of the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge; 8,900 acres; 22 percent contained; full containment is expected by August 19; Ely District, 775-289-1800
- Poodle Fire: Washoe County, 20 miles northwest of Gerlach; 6,557 acres; 95 percent contained; full containment was expected by August 5; Winnemucca District, 775-623-1500
- Rock Fire: Washoe County, 30 miles north of Reno; 2,293 acres; 100 percent contained; in recovery and patrol status; Carson City District, 775-885-6000
- Strawberry Fire: White Pine County, five miles west of Baker; 4,493 acres; 20 percent contained; full containment expected by August 19; Ely District, 775-289-1800
- Virginia Mountains Complex: Five separate fires within 20 miles of each other about 35 miles north of Reno; 59,757 acres; 100 percent contained; in assessment and rehabilitation status; Carson City District, 775-885-6000
For current information on conditions in Southern Nevada, visit the Las Vegas Interagency Communication Center’s website.