Topaz Fire Evening Update…7,500 Acres & 35% Contained

TRE Fire Update

May 24th, 2012 1900

   Douglas County, Nevada







Mark Regan, Public Information Officer                  

Cell     775-461-6200                                                    

Date Started: 5/22/2012

Cause:  Under Investigation

Total Personnel595

Residences: 0 threatened, 2 destroyed

Size: 7,500 acres Commercial Property: 0 threatened; 0 destroyed
Percent Contained:  35%

Resources: 6 Helicopters;

21 Engines; 16 Crews; 4 Dozers

Outbuildings: 0 threatened; 17 destroyed

Injuries to Date: 0


The Topaz Ranch Estates Fire is burning west of Rickey Canyon, in the Pinenut Mountain Range, in Wellington, Nevada.



Update (05/24/12, 7:00pm):

The burn area is estimated to be approximately 7,500 acres, and the fire is estimated to be approximately 35% contained. No additional structures have burned. The fire has had no active perimeter growth since 6:00 pm.


Ground crews are holding the line in all divisions. The ground crews were supported by air in their efforts until approximately 2:30 pm, when prevailing winds became too strong for continued helicopter operations.


595 firefighters and personnel from various federal, state and local agencies have responded and are involved in this operation. No personnel injuries have been reported. The cost for fighting the fire to date is estimated to be $2,300,000.

For members of the press who would like an updated status brief for their morning news reports on Friday, May 25th, call Information Officer Mark Regan at 775-461-6200. Call no later than 11:00 pm on Thursday, May 24th to schedule a time for the brief on Friday morning.



Update (05/24/12, 12:00am):

Air and ground fighting operations continuing.  Both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters utilized. Ground fire crews, supplemented by bulldozers, continuing to expand and improve ground fire breaks. Structure protection crews continuing extinguishment of remaining small fires and smoldering areas in previously effected residential properties. 


From 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, the area in and around the fire is under a red flag warning due to high winds and relatively low humidity.

An updated fire brief is scheduled for 6:30 pm on Thursday, May 24th, 2012. The location will be the Incident Command Post at Douglas County Fairgrounds; 920 Dump Rd, Gardnerville NV. All interested media representatives and elected or public officials are invited to attend.


Overview (05/24/12, 8:00am):

On Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012, at approximately 2:10 pm, firefighters of the East Fork Fire and Paramedics Districts were dispatched to a possible wildland fire in the vicinity of Slate Rd and Pinenut Rd, in the residential subdivision of Topaz Ranch Estates, in South Douglas County.


Upon arrival, firefighters discovered an approximately 5-10 acre fire rapidly expanding on residential properties in the area. Due to the rapid expansion of the fire caused by the strong afternoon winds, an Emergency Unified Command was quickly established.


The fire was driven northeast by the winds, and 2 homes and 17 outbuildings burned as a result.


As the fire continued to move northeast through the residential area, it eventually burned into the open wildland area north of the residences in the subdivision. The fire continued to burn into the hills north and east of the subdivision.


The fire was fought by air crews conducting fire retardant and water drops via fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, and by hand crews and engine crews on the ground.


As of 6:00 am, Thursday, May 24th, 2012, the fire has grown to approximately 7,500 acres burned, and is approximately 15% contained. The fire continues to burn in the hills to the north and east of the Topaz Ranch Estates residential area. No additional homes or structures have burned or are in immediate threat. To date, approximately 575 firefighters from various state and local agencies have responded and are involved in fighting the fire.


Continuing Operations:

Air and ground fighting operations will continue throughout the day. Both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters are being utilized. Ground fire crews, supplemented by bulldozer crews, continue to expand and improve ground fire breaks. Structure protection crews continue extinguishing remaining small fires and smoldering areas in and around previously effected residences and private properties.


The Western Great Basin National Type-II Incident Management Team 7 (IC Sommer) has taken command of the incident. Of primary concern for today’s firefighting effort are projected strong winds, estimated to have gusts of up to 45 mph.


With the Memorial Day Weekend coming up, citizens are again reminded to be cognizant of the extreme fire danger posed by dry brush this season, particularly in the northern Sierra Mountain region. Please be responsible if utilizing a campfire – do not leave it unattended and ensure extinguishment of the fire is thorough and complete.


Closures and Restrictions: