Hunter Falls Fire Downsized, Full Containment Expected Friday - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Hunter Falls Fire Downsized, Full Containment Expected Friday

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Authorities say they expect to have the Hunter Falls Fire, which has been downsized to 740 acres, to be fully contained on Friday. It's currently 65% contained.

No homes are in danger and no major injuries have been reported, although one firefighter suffered a minor eye injury. More than 250 personnel are currently battling the fire which is primarily located in the Mt. Rose Wilderness Area. The firefighting cause is benefiting from rain and snow on the burn area.

"The rain will knock a lot of stuff down but there will still be visible smokes because fire is very determined to keep on surviving," Brian Reublinger, Sierra Front spokesman said.

 Fire suppression costs already have topped $330,000.
 
Reublinger says they warned crews Tuesday to watch out for falling rocks in the rugged wilderness.

"Rain makes everything slippery," Reublinger said. "The ground can get saturated, the rocks get slippery, so firefighters have to look out for their surroundings and what they step on. Also, the rain makes the soil underneath, say rocks, very loose."

Helicopter operations have been halted during the storm because cloud cover is causing low visibility.

"Residents in Reno can't see up the hill," Reublinger said. "Exact same thing with the helicopters. Once they start to lift up, they're unable to see their surroundings."

Authorities tell us it's likely human-caused - and started on Saturday night.

High Humidity and Wetting Rains Predicted for Fire Area: A low pressure system is predicted to bring wetting rains to the burn site with up to .5 inch of rain possible. There is a chance of rain-snow mix at the fire site. Temperatures on the fire will only be in the high 30s to low 40s today with humidity of 60 to 70%. Rain should taper to scattered showers by 10 p.m. tonight. The Washoe County Health District says the air quality for today and tomorrow is expected to be in the 'good' range. For updates call 775-785-4110.

Fire Information: Crews will continue to construct, improve and hold the line around the fire today while helicopters will be used to drop water on hot spots and ferry crews as needed. The rain may result in additional stream flows from the fire in Alum, Hunter and Evans Creeks.

Closure Order: The Forest Service has issued a closure order for the area around the fire and Hunter Lake Road, including its tributaries, and Hunter Creek Trail. No road or trail use is permitted within the closure area. The purpose of the closure is to protect public health, well-being and safety of both the public and the firefighters.

In addition, Bartley Ranch Regional Park remains closed while fire personnel use the park as their incident command post.

(The City of Reno, The Associated Press also contributed to this report.)
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