Crews aiming for Sunday containment of Bison Fire

Photo Courtesy of Brad Cockman/ Brad Cockman hiked all the way up near Genoa Peak on Sunday to grab this shot of the Bison Fire. You can view (and buy) more of Brad's photos at
Photo Courtesy of Brad Cockman/
Brad Cockman hiked all the way up near Genoa Peak on Sunday to grab this shot of the Bison Fire. You can view (and buy) more of Brad’s photos at

Courtesy of
Tuesday Morning update, 8:20 a.m.

Incident Overview

The Bison Fire has made significant runs on Sunday and Monday to the northeast through the Slate Mine area, cresting the Pine Nut Ranch and moving into the north end of Smith Valley.

The fire has now  grown to 25,700 acres, but containment has been bumped up to 25 percent with full containment estimated for Sunday.

The lightning-caused fire is located along the western slope of the Pinenut Mountain range in Douglas County, Nevada, and is burning a combination of BLM public lands, Native American allotment lands, and private lands about five miles east of Gardnerville (east of U.S. Highway 395). The Bison Fire started at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 4.

East Fork Fire Protection District Fire Chief Todd Carlini reports that the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners has declared a State of Emergency for the Bison Fire. This allows the County to request additional State resources and assistance, as well as federal assistance, should the Governor deem a State of Emergency for the State of Nevada.

Plans are in place for positioning of both air and ground resources should the fire continue to move farther east and/or north. A spike camp has been established in the Smith Valley area for incident resources working on the east side of the incident.

Members of the public need to stay away from the fire area. Individuals have been spotted on OHV’s and other vehicles too close to the fire and fire equipment, which can interfere with fire suppression operations.

Governor Brian Sandoval was briefed on the Bison Fire at the Incident Command Post on July 8 along with the Nevada Department of Emergency Management Director and their staff.

The fire’s advance to the north as resulted in the following new road closures to non-residents:

  • ·East Valley Road at Grandview
  • ·Sunrise Pass @ Coyote Rocks
  • ·Brunswick Canyon Road
  • ·Mexican Dam Road
  • ·Sunrise Pass Road at Artesia Road
  • ·Pine Nut Road at the intersection of Out-R-Way remains closed due to heavy amounts of fire vehicle traffic – there is a diminishing threat to about 20 residences in this area west of the fire as crews and equipment have secured containment lines.

A portable Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) base has been establishing at the Minden/Tahoe Airport in Douglas County to service up to seven SEAT aircraft working the fire. Four Type 1 heavy air tankers are operating out of the Stead Airport west of Reno. There are also eight helicopters of varying sizes and capabilities dropping water on hotspots, providing medical evacuation if necessary, etc.

The Great Basin Type II Team (IC Whalen) assumed command of the fire on Sunday, July 7 at 6:00 a.m. The Incident Command Post is located at the Douglas County Fairground east of Gardnerville.

Information on the Bison Fire is also being continuously updated at and the Facebook page for the Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators and Douglas County.

Basic Information

Incident Type: Wildfire

Cause: Lightning On 7/4

Date of Origin: Thursday July 04th, 2013 approx. 03:30 PM

Location: Pinenut Mountains, Douglas County, NV

Incident Commander: Whalen

Total Personnel: 720

Size: 25,700 acres

Percent Contained: 25%

Estimated Containment Date: Sunday July 14th, 2013 approx. 06:00 PM

Fuels Involved: Grass, brush, pinyon pine

Fire Behavior: Rapid rates of spread during daylight hours due to high sustained winds. Limited humidity recovery overnight.

Significant Events

Evacuations remain in place for about 20 homes in the Pinenut Creek area. No other evacuations have been ordered at this time.


Planned Actions

Great Basin Type II Team (IC Whalen) assumed command on 7/7 at 0600.

Growth Potential


Terrain Difficulty

Rolling hills, steep outcrops, thick vegetation.


Recent record-breaking heat has lessened, however, relative humidity remains low with frequent gusty winds.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions: 10 mph SW

Temperature: 85 degrees
Humidity: 10%

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s