Fires

Long Valley Fire cuts a vast swath through two states, threatens small town

A water-scooping aircraft filled up in Pyramid Lake before releasing its load over the Long Valley fire.
A water-scooping aircraft filled up in Pyramid Lake before releasing its load over the Long Valley fire.

A fire that started July 11 near Doyle in Lassen County has charred 83,733 acres in two states and is threatening Sutcliffe, a small community on the west shore of Pyramid Lake.

The Long Valley Fire burned through grass and brush as it raced across the Fort Sage mountains 50 miles north of Reno.

By Monday morning it was within three miles of Sutcliffe, said Vince Mazzier, a spokesman with the interagency team managing the blaze.

Officials issued an evacuation advisory to the town’s 250 residents while firefighters and equipment continued to strengthen a protection line around it.

Nevada Highway 445, which runs through the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation along the west shore of Pyramid, was closed just south of Sutcliffe.

Firefighters were expecting increased winds and very low humidity Monday afternoon to increase fire behavior, Mazzier said. Those conditions will likely continue Tuesday, challenging the efforts of over 25 crews from as far away as southern California, he said.

Investigators are still determining the cause of the fire, which burned three structures in eastern Lassen County before crossing into Nevada near State Line Peak.

The Long Valley Fire was 35 percent contained Monday with full containment expected by July 25, Mazzier said.

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