The U.S. Forest Service says the lightning-sparked South Sugarloaf Fire southwest of Owyhee is nearly 100% contained after sparking on August 17th.

The fire has burned 233,462 acres. 

Full containment is expected September 7th. 

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest will be hosting a public meeting in Elko to explain the U.S. Forest Service’s Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program and rehabilitation process.

The public meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6, at the BLM District Office in Elko, Nevada, 3900 Idaho Street. 

“Now that the South Sugarloaf fire is winding down, we want to take an opportunity to meet with the community and talk about what comes next,” said Josh Nicholes, Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge District Ranger. “The intent of the meeting is to provide information on BAER and discuss the different programs, processes and opportunities for rehabilitation efforts on Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), tribal, and private lands.”

All voluntary evacuations were lifted last week, and State Route 225 north of Elko remains open to traffic.

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is also now able to reopen some of the closed area on the Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger District. The reduced area closure goes into effect on Thursday, August 30 at 8 a.m. 

“We are allowing the public back into parts of the Forest that have not been affected by the fire,” said Josh Nichols, District Ranger for the Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger District. “It is extremely important that people stay out of the area still closed, because of continued fire activity and safety concerns for both the public and firefighters. Please travel cautiously as you may encounter fire personnel and equipment.”

The new area closure includes all National Forest System (NFS) lands west of Forest Service Road 067 (Bruneau Canyon Road); north of County Road 732 (Jack Creek); east of Nevada State Route 11; and south of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation boundary line and Idaho border. Campgrounds that remain closed include Wild Horse Crossing and Big Bend.

On NFS lands, Nevada Department of Wildlife’s hunting areas 061 remain closed, southern portion of 062 is now open; northeast portion of 071 is now opened, and 072 is fully opened (See Map). Hunters are welcomed to hunt on BLM lands in any of those units. 

This new closure will remain in effect until the Forest Service determines the area that remains closed is safe for the public.

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The fire started last Friday, August 17th, and is now 40% contained. 

Around 3 p.m. Saturday, Humboldt Toiyabe NF tweeted that the fire is making a strong wind-driven run to the east and has now crossed NV State Route 225, just north of the dam at the Wild Horse Reservoir. Officials are asking the public to stay clear of the area, as well as asking hunters and campers to vacate the area.

The U.S. Forest Service, Humboldt-Toiyabe, said a firefighter was injured and sustained a minor burn injury on Wednesday. He was transported to a burn center for a medical evaluation.

Officials said Nevada State Route 225 is closed to milepost 82 to Owyhee and Maggie Summit Road is closed from the Baker Ranch to Nevada State Route 226. The fire continues to spread to the east toward the highway, and officials say it may reach the Owyhee Canyon on Saturday, August 25th.

Owyhee Airport remains closed to civil air traffic as it is being used for fire aviation operations. The Temporary Flight Restriction remains in place over the South Sugarloaf Fire. 

Over 673 personnel are working on the fire, including 38 engines and seven helicopters.