Homes near Carpenter Canyon fire under mandatory evacuation - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Homes near Carpenter Canyon fire under mandatory evacuation

Crews are focused on structure protection. (Arron Healy/FOX5) Crews are focused on structure protection. (Arron Healy/FOX5)
Lightning sparked the Carpenter Canyon fire on Monday. (Arron Healy/FOX5) Lightning sparked the Carpenter Canyon fire on Monday. (Arron Healy/FOX5)
MT. CHARLESON (FOX5) -

Residents living near the Carpenter 1 wildfire on the Pahrump side of the Mount Charleston area were advised of a mandatory evacuation Thursday just after 3 p.m. on Thursday.

The move followed a voluntary evacuation alert earlier in the day.

The Bureau of Land Management said residents specifically living in the Trout Creek community were being told of the evacuation at a time when the fire was within a mile of homes Thursday afternoon.

An evacuation center will be opened at Hafen Elementary School in Pahrump. If the evacuation order continues into the night, the center will become a shelter. The BLM has set up a public information number: 702-515-5105.

The Red Cross is prepared to aid those evacuated by the fire.

According to BLM, the fire consumed about 1,125 acres as of Thursday and it remained not contained.

In addition, dry lightning in the area forced prescribed burns to cancel Thursday. Air drops resumed despite wind gusts in the area, BLM said.

Meanwhile, crews were working to keep the fire from spreading or threatening any residential areas. A burn operations crew was working to create more defensive space around the community, BLM said.

Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort also said it was assisting in the firefighting effort by providing about 500 gallons of water at a time from its snowmaking reservoir.

Greg Jameson has witnessed dozens of wildfires from his home on Trout Canyon Road since his parents purchased the house in the 1960s. The Carpenter fire is the most threatening yet.

"This would be the closest one that we've ever had that has gotten this outrageous," he said.

There are 21 homes in Trout Canyon, the closest community facing danger from the fire lines. Jameson is better equipped than most. He has 30,000 gallons of water at the ready and his own fire truck.

"I don't have fire insurance. It's a little expensive when you live out in the middle of nowhere with no fire hydrants," Jameson said.

Considering the size of the wildfire, Jameson would rather rely on the 120 firefighters on the mountain, including the Mill Creek Hotshots, who arrived Wednesday afternoon from San Bernardino.

"It's backing down the hill against the wind, down the canyon and eating fuel at a slow pace," said Howard Deets with the Mill Creek Hotshots.

Because the fire is in a remote location, Deets and other crewmembers are focusing on structure protection, hoping the fire will eventually consume itself.

The only way to douse the fire is from that air. That attack will resume on Thursday. Jameson is optimistic his truck won't be needed this time.

"I'm 99-percent confident. I've seen 50 fires here in the last 35 years," he said.

The fire was sparked by several dry-lightning strikes on Monday.

Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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