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Mahogany Fire: Crews work to contain 2,794-acre wildfire on Mt. Charleston

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    LAS VEGAS, NV (KVVU) — UPDATE (JULY 2): As of Thursday morning the Mahogany Fire was at 2,794 acres and 40% containment. State Routes 157 remains open, but SR 158 remains closed with the additional closure of SR 156.

Additional crews joined to continue to secure and improve anchor points, develop and improve containment lines and mop up hot spots.

ORIGINAL STORY (JUNE 29): LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Fire crews are battling a wildfire of more than 2,700 acres on Mt. Charleston that started Sunday afternoon.

Units from Clark County Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue and Mt. Charleston Fire Protection District are responding to the area of the Mahogany Grove Campground where the fire began about 2:40 p.m. on June 28. The fire area is between Lee and Kyle canyons.

THOUSANDS OF ACRES BURNED IN 5 HOURS
MFPD initially responded with four units as a brush fire response, and reported the smoke and flames estimating 10 acres with the fire moving southwest by 20-30 mph winds.

CCFD said by 3:10 p.m., the fire had grown to 200 acres. Two hours later, the Forest Service said it had grown to 400 acres.

According to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest incidents page, the fire was measured at 5,000 acres by 7:30 p.m. with 0% containment.

On Monday, the size was clarified to be 3,040 acres with 0% containment, “due to more accurate mapping. On Tuesday, the size was reduced again to 2,794 acres with 10% containment. By Wednesday, crews said the fire was at 40% containment.

Crews estimate the fire will be full contained by July 5.

Officials said Monday that morning that harsh winds died down around 11 p.m. Sunday, helping firefighters contain the blaze. Ray Johnson with U.S. Forest Service said temperatures dropped down to 41 degrees at 8,000-foot elevation, helping fire crews contain the fire.

“Several large airtankers and helicopters are providing aerial support with retardant and bucket work,” officials said on Twitter.

According to officials, the fire was human-caused.

EVACUATIONS
The Spring Mountain Youth Camp was evacuated as a precaution, and by the latest acreage update, Lee Canyon had been evacuated.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Mike Welch said Sunday evening evacuations on the Lee Canyon side are voluntary “for now.”

Red Cross opened an evacuation center for residents of Mt. Charleston at James H. Bilbray Elementary School at 9370 Brent Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89143. Red Cross announced Tuesday that the evacuation center would close, as no residents came to the location for assistance.

WHAT’S BURNING

“Fire is burning in pinyon juniper and brush and is exhibiting extreme fire behavior, posing containment issues to firefighters. Aerial firefighting resources are unable to assist due to high winds,” the Forest Service said in an update.

“The focus remains on containing and extinguishing the flames as well as protecting exposed structures,” said CCFD Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Foley.

POWER OUTAGE
NV Energy reported a power outage in the area, impacting about 450 customers. The power company said on Twitter it “de-energized power lines on Mt. Charleston at the request of the fire department for the safety of firefighters and customers.”

NV Energy later stated the outage will be extended. “Power will be restored when it is safe to do so, which may not be until sometime [Monday.]”

Johnson said Monday NV Energy hopes to restore power Monday afternoon.

ROAD CLOSURES
UPDATE (6/29): Kyle Canyon and Lee Canyon roads reopened Monday afternoon, according to NHP. State Route 158 remained closed.

S.R. 158 (Deer Creek Road) is closed at both S.R. 157 (Kyle Canyon Road) and S.R. 156 (Lee Canyon Road) due to the fire, according to Nevada Highway Patrol. “Expect major delays and avoid the area,” NHP wrote on Twitter.

The road closures are expected to last at least 72 hours, NHP said about 11 p.m. on Sunday. “Stay away from the area so fire crews can position resources in the area.”

As of 11 p.m., there were no injuries reported. An air quality alert was issued for the Las Vegas Valley.

WALLACE FIRE
On the other side of Mt. Charleston, fire crews are responding to a 20-acre fire.

The Wallace Fire, burning in the Wallace Canyon are west of Mt. Charleston, is not currently threatening any homes or structures.

The Wallace Fire also started June 28. The cause remains under investigation.

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CNN

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