AP News, News, Wildland Firefighting

Winds Decrease as Crews Battle Mountain Wildfire Near Vegas

Wildland Firefighting

MOUNT CHARLESTON, Nev. (AP) — A decrease in gusty winds, cool overnight temperatures and the ability to use aircraft to douse flames helped efforts to battle a wildfire in the rugged mountains near Las Vegas, a fire official said Monday.

It could take several days to contain the fire that prompted evacuation advisories, road closures and power outages after it started Sunday amid pinon pine and juniper on Mount Charleston, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Ray Johnson said.

Winds charted at up to 60 mph (96.5 kph) helped flames race across about 4.75 square miles (12.3 square kilometers) of area, but no injuries were reported and no homes were damaged in Lee and Kyle canyon hamlets home to several hundred residents and weekend visitors.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal found no evacuees at a shelter set up at an area elementary school.

Johnson said the fire was probably sparked by humans near the Mahogany Grove Campground, but said an exact cause was being investigated.

The blaze prompted memories of the massive Carpenter 1 wildfire that burned for several weeks on Mount Charleston in 2013, charring nearly 44 square miles (114 square kilometers) and blanketing he Las Vegas area with smoke during the Independence Day holiday.

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