Courtesy Photo
Firefighters work to put out a brush fire at Walker Lake Aug. 11.

A small brush fire broke out at Walker Lake after an individual lit off fireworks. The fire, which broke out on Sunday, Aug. 11 was started by a Mineral County resident had purchased fireworks in Schurz and brought them to the lake to set off. Unfortunately, the fireworks got away from the individual and set off a quarter to half acre wildland fire.

Mineral County Fire, Hawthorne Volunteer Fire Department as well as volunteers from Walker Lake, were dispatched to Sportsman’s Beach at the lake where they quickly began to extinguish the flames.

Chief Chris Lawrence of the Mineral County Fire Department reminds all that setting off fireworks is illegal outside of the Walker River Paiute Tribe Reservation boundaries. Any fire, such as a bonfire or elimination of weeds, must be reported to the department for a burning permit.

Fire restrictions in Western Nevada began on July 13 due to dry vegetation. The Bureau of Land Management along with partnering agencies such as Carson City District Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs – Western Nevada Agency and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services state that these restrictions will be in place until further notice.

“Vegetation fine fuel loading in western Nevada and eastern California is above normal compared to average because of the wet spring and the abundance of last year’s grass crop. Warmer temperatures have increased the rate of vegetation dry-out. A large crop of grass and brush is evident at lower elevations. People are encouraged to safely enjoy the public lands, bearing in mind that human-caused fires threaten human life, private property and public land resources every summer,” the statement from BLM explained.

Wildland fires can be reported to 911 or to the Sierra Front Interagency Fire Dispatch Center, Minden, 775-883- 5995.

To obtain a permit to burn in Mineral County boundaries, except the Walker River Paiute Tribe reservation, contact the Mineral County Fire Department at 775-945-2497.