As multiple wildfires continue to burn in Northern Nevada and California, the Earthstone Fire by Golden Eagle Regional Park was 80 percent contained on Monday, according to Sparks Fire Division Chief Shawn McEvers. The fire that broke out July 3 just east of Sparks has since burned more than 41,000 acres (around 65 miles). The multi-sport turf complex was closed last Monday, but reopened Wednesday as the blaze moved away from it.
Although the cause of the fire is under investigation, police are looking for two adult male suspects who were seen driving in a small, dark-colored 2-door vehicle westbound on Earthstone Drive right before the brush fire ignited.
“All forward progress has been stopped,” says McEvers, as the fire makes its way towards the Olinghouse/Wadsworth area. He added that fire spreads quickly with the easily-ignitable Juniper bushes in the hillsides as well as the dry cheat grass dispersed throughout the valley. Although the fires are pretty well contained, strong winds that can pick up embers and carry them off the fire line pose some concern.
“It’s a red flag warning today (Monday), so if we can make it through these winds then chances are (the Earthstone Fire) will be 100 percent contained today,” says McEvers. “It is so dry and we have so much grass. Use extra precaution in whatever you do outside…lives and structures are still threatened and we don’t need human error to add to it.”
McEvers says that recently a woman evacuating a fire was pulling a trailer of horses and didn’t hook her chain up properly. The dragging chain ignited another fire.
“It can happen that fast, so just use extra care in your outdoor activities,” he says.
Anyone who saw a small 2-door car driving westbound on Earthstone Drive on July 3 between 1-3pm is encouraged to report it to the Sparks Fire Department. Since there are no power lines in the area nor lightning at the time the fire started, the Earthstone Fire is thought to be human-caused.
Sparks Fire Department, Sierra Front, and the Bureau of Land Management responded to the Earthstone Fire and as of July 10 no structures or buildings have been damaged.