Great Basin Interagency Incident Management Team 7 reported more progress on the Bishop Fire and much smaller Comet Fire that burned in the county on public land.
Both fires were human-caused and are under investigation. Two pilots were killed when their air tankers collided in midair as they were helping to fight the Bishop Fire, as reported last week in the Record.
Team 7 indicated on Aug. 8 the Bishop Fire is 100 percent contained after burning around 13,000 acres 10 miles southwest of Caliente, near Rainbow Canyon Road. The fire started on July 29, and 269 personnel were assigned to the blaze.
In the northwest part of the fire on Aug. 7 crews finished securing and mopping up the last piece of line. Remaining crews will continue to patrol the perimeter and any smokes that pose a threat to the containment of the fire will be put out. For some time, smoke may be visible from the interior of the fire. On fires this size interior smoke is normal as large trees and remaining vegetation continue to smolder. Remaining fire-weakened trees and hot ash pits exist within the fire perimeter, posing a risk to firefighters. Crews will not extinguish interior smokes due to the risk and safety posed by these hazards.
“Every member of The Great Basin Incident Management Team 7 would like to extend their thanks and gratitude to the town of Caliente for all their support throughout this incident,” a statement read.
The Comet Fire started on Aug. 4 about eight miles northwest of Pioche. It burned about 754 acres and was 85 percent contained as of the Team’s final update on Aug. 9.
“Great Basin Team 7 was already in place managing the nearby Bishop Fire and immediately sent its initial attack task force to help local resources slow the fire’s spread,” the statement said. “Full support from fixed-wing aircraft dropping fire retardant and helicopters with water drops enabled crews to halt its forward progression. Deadly determination by skilled firefighters over the last few days has resulted in a well-secured perimeter and robust containment line.”
Team 7 assumed command from the local unit the morning of Aug. 6, implementing a full containment strategy. Full containment was expected the evening of Aug. 9.
Local resource advisers began suppression repair activities even before the fire was fully contained. Where it was safe to do so, crews began repairing roads and pulling vegetation and other debris onto containment lines, installing water bars, obliterating berms, and other activities. This work will help reduce erosion, restore hydrologic function, prevent noxious weeds establishment, and leave a clean footprint-free of waste and refuse.
Old mining shafts in and near the fire area present a danger to firefighters and the public. Local resource advisors helped firefighters avoid known shafts, adits, and other hazards associated with mining.
Campfires on state or public land are currently prohibited.Visit http://firewise.org for suggestions on how to defend your home and community from wildfire.