Nevada hopes approaching rain will douse 140,000 acres of fires |

Nevada hopes approaching rain will douse 140,000 acres of fires

Daily Staff Report

Associated PressRENO, Nev. – Nevada continued to endure lightning-sparked wildfires on Wednesday, but an approaching rainstorm – complete with a flood watch – held the potential to douse some of the flames.In all, about 140,000 acres of the state have been charred since the fires began over the weekend. Of 33 large fires burning in the U.S. and being tracked by the National Interagency Fire Center, 10 were in Nevada.But three consecutive days of high temperatures, low humidity and dry lightning were forecast to give way Wednesday night to a possibility of heavy rain. A flash flood watch was posted for the hard-hit Reno-Carson City area.”We’ve got a lot of cloud cover, the humidity has come up and the temperatures are a lot cooler,” said Kathy Jo Pollock, a spokeswoman for the fire management team in Carson City.A fire that began Monday just east of Carson City near the historic Pony Express trail, was estimated at 5,000 acres on Wednesday. About 200 homes were threatened Tuesday, but most residents who chose to leave were returning.A blaze of more than 78,000 acres burned toward a subdivision in northwestern Elko but stopped 1 1/2 miles short at a green belt. No one was evacuated, and the fire was estimated to be 20 percent contained Wednesday night.No injuries have been reported and no structures have burned in the Nevada fires.In Arizona, most of the 200 employees stranded on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim by a wildfire were escorted out of the park Wednesday, a day after about 800 stranded tourists were taken out. About 30 employees will remain indefinitely to maintain operations, park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said.Zion National Park in Utah remained open Wednesday, despite the closure of nine of the park’s hiking trails because of a wildfire. It had burned about 17,630 acres – most of it inside the park – since it started Saturday. The fire is 40 percent contained, with the most active burning on its north edge in very steep, rocky terrain.—Associated Press Writer Tom Gardner in Reno contributed to this report.—On the net:National Interagency Fire Center:

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