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Crews on obtaining huge Nevada wildfire visible from space

RENO, Nev. – More than 600 firefighters slowed the progress Tuesday of a huge forest fire in a remote part of northern Nevada, that is generating so much heat and smoke that it is now visible from space.

A NASA satellite captured infrared image of the fire that burned almost 700 square miles (1,813 sq. kilometers) of mostly sage brush, grasses and rangeland — an area nearly half the size of the state of Rhode Island, according to the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

The nickname of Martin Brand, the National Interagency Fire Center said Tuesday was the largest wild land fire in the United States.

No injuries were reported. No structures have been damaged or are currently being threatened by a series of fires burning in northern Nevada in temperatures approaching triple digits on Tuesday, including one in which the evacuation orders were lifted after threatening 30 homes south of Carson City, authorities said.

Estimated containment of the fire in about 20 miles (32 km) of the Idaho line was 35 percent, with full containment not expected for at least 10 days. But fire officials said they have made significant progress the last two days to slow the progress of the flames, which was traveling at an average speed of 15 km per day, mostly in a north-east direction, because it started on 5 July in the vicinity of the small, rural town of Paradise Valley 200 miles (322 km) northwest of Reno.

“Staff and equipment are making excellent progress in building containment lines along the southeast flank of the fire,” the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said.

The officials of the agency closed the Wilson reservoir and camping Tuesday due to fire activity in the area and the aircraft were scooping water from the reservoir to dump on the flames. The authorities are investigating the cause of the fire is asked for the public’s help with any information about anyone who are camping in the area on the Fourth of July.

In western Nevada, all evacuation orders have been lifted and roads reopened in the near of fire, a fire that threatened as many as 30 homes on the Sierra’s eastern front about 15 miles (24 km) south of Carson City.

About 100 firefighters continued to battle the blaze, which was burning mostly in sage brush Tuesday. It has charred an estimated 280 acres (113 hectares) and 60 percent contained.

Steve Eisele, deputy head of the East Fork Fire Protection District, said a piece of heavy equipment working on a new housing estate in the neighbourhood of Genoa, apparently led to the fire Monday afternoon and strong winds quickly spread across the frames in the neighboring brush along Jacks Valley Road.

The authorities, of a temporary shelter at a senior center in nearby Gardnerville after a voluntary evacuation order was issued, but the shelter was closed at 9 pm. Monday.

Elsewhere in the west of the united states:

— A wildfire burning near the Columbia River on Tuesday, officials asked for the evacuation of the small central Washington town of Vantage, and close to Interstate 90 in both directions for a time. The fire broke at the end of the Monday and forced about 120 people to leave their homes in Vantage, which is located just to the west of the river.

— A grass fire in the north of Wyoming has consumed more than 56 square miles (145 square kilometers) and a closed section of a state highway. There are ranch homes in the area, but officials say that no structures have been burned.

— A large forest fire that is already more than a month ago in southwestern Colorado is no longer considered a threat. A national firefighting team brought in to battle the 416 Fire north of Durango is leaving Tuesday, which means that the responsibility for the monitoring of the San Juan National Forest officials.

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