Wildfire shuts highway at Nevada-California line

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires burning across the western United States (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

A wildfire 40 miles south of the Burning Man festival in Nevada has now burned more than 80 square miles of mostly sage brush and grass but the main highway remains open and the counterculture festival is continuing 100 miles north of Reno.

The Sierra Front interagency dispatch center said late Thursday seven ranches are still threatened by the lightning-sparked fire near Pyramid Lake but no structures have been destroyed or injuries reported.

Fire officials say the estimated burn area nearly doubled after a flyover Thursday but the blaze is still far from the celebration in the Black Rock Desert.

More than 100 firefighters are on the scene with air support. There’s currently no containment and full containment isn’t expected for a week.

State Route 447 was closed north of U.S. Interstate 80 for several hours but reopened Thursday morning.


3:05 p.m.

Evacuation orders have been lifted at a wildfire on the California-Nevada line but a long stretch of highway is still closed in both directions.

No injuries have been reported or buildings lost, but the fire has burned about 8 square miles (21 square kilometers) of sagebrush and scrubby pine trees along the Sierra Nevada’s eastern front.

The town of Topaz just south of the state line was evacuated as a precaution after the lightning-sparked blaze broke out Wednesday night. But residents were allowed to return to their homes by noon Thursday.

A 65-mile (105-kilometer) stretch of U.S. Highway 395 remains closed from south of Gardnerville, all the way to Bridgeport, California, at the intersection with California State Highway 182.


1:15 p.m.

An official says firefighters are battling a lightning-sparked wildfire in a remote part of the vast former national nuclear proving ground north of Las Vegas.

Nevada National Security Site spokeswoman Tracy Bower said Thursday that the fire covers almost 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) in the western part of what used to be the Nevada Test Site.

More than 1,000 nuclear detonations occurred at the 1,360-square-mile (3522-square-kilometer) secure federal reservation from 1951 to 1992. It now hosts non-nuclear experiments and safety training.

Bower didn’t have immediate information about the exact location of the fire or what tests may have taken place in the burn area in the past.

She says the fire started Monday and isn’t considered a threat to people or buildings.

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