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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Nevada Sierra Front: Douglas County #BisonFire 6,300 acres, lightning started producing a large pyrocumulus cloud from Squaw Valley's Webcam. #NvFire

The BISON FIRE at a Glance (updated 9:30am Sunday, July 7th; new numbers in bold):
- DATE STARTED: Thursday, July 4th, 2013
- CAUSE: Lightning
- SIZE: 6,300 acres
- LOCATION: Pine Nut Mountain Range (east of Minden/Gardnerville, west of Smith Valley)
- RESOURCES: 9 Airtankers8 Helicopters, 18 Engines, 13 Crews, 4 Water Tenders, 4 Dozers
- HOMES: 20 Threatened; 0 Damaged/Destroyed
- OUTBUILDINGS: 0 Threatened; 0 Damaged/Destroyed
- BUSINESSES: 0 Threatened; 0 Damaged/Destroyed
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Nev. - Firefighters made progress in containing the Bison Fire overnight Saturday evening and early Sunday morning. Despite the fire being listed as "active," fire crews increased containment from 20 to 30 percent. Full containment is expected by Monday, July 8th.
Sierra Front reports the fire has burned 6,300 acres, downgraded from an estimated 7000 acres Saturday. Saturday morning is when Sierra Front started reporting 7,000, though the Douglas County Sheriff's Office stuck with 2,000 acres much of the morning, leading to some confusion. 2,000 is the number firefighters were using Friday night; the fire grew substantially overnight Friday into Saturday.
Additional resources from both Sierra Front - a Sierra Front Type 3 Team - and from larger regional organizations - a Great Basin Type 2 Team arrived over the weekend.
Fire incident commanders say they continue to coordinate with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) because the fire in burning culturally significant resources; they are also in contact with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) because the Pine Nut Mountains are home to the Bi-State Sage Grouse.
Both Sierra Front and Douglas County report flames crested the ridge just south of Mount Siegal, the highest peak east of Gardnerville, overnight Friday into Saturday. The fire is now established on both sides of the Pine Nut range and has the potential to burn into Lyon County.
On Sunday, Pine Nut Road remains closed to all non-residents at Out-R-Way and about 20 homes are still under a voluntary evacuation notice.
A Douglas County press release said a wind-shift Friday night put 20 buildings back in harm's way. Crews are in place to protect them. Winds at higher altitudes prevented aerial fire fighting in some places on Saturday.
The Bison Fire was caused by lightning Thursday afternoon off Pine Nut Road in the Buffalo Canyon area, five miles east of Gardnerville.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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