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NEWS
July 15, 2013 | By Jay Jones
With the wildfire in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas now 60% contained, most of the hiking trails in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area reopened Sunday afternoon. That's one of of several indicators that firefighters have the upper hand on the blaze that has scorched more than 43 square miles and fouled the air in and around Las Vegas . “Work is being completed. People [firefighters] are going home,” said Madonna Lengerich, a fire information officer.
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NEWS
July 15, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Air quality in the Las Vegas Valley returned to normal and hiking trails in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area were once again welcoming visitors Monday as containment of the 2-week-old wildfire in the Spring Mountains grew to 70%. “We've cornered the beast,” fire information officer Larry Helmerick said Monday afternoon of the Carpenter 1 fire. “Our [firefighter] numbers will probably decline significantly tonight.” About 1,000 firefighters continued to douse hot spots Monday with the aid of seven helicopters.
NEWS
July 12, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Rains late Thursday provided some relief to firefighters battling the wildfire that has raged about 30 miles from Las Vegas, bringing the blaze to 43% containment and promising clearer skies and better air for weekend visitors. “We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Larry Helmerick, a fire information officer. “It's not a freight train coming at us.” Smoke from the fire had fouled the air in and around Las Vegas and the Strip, prompting an air quality advisory that had once reached the unhealthful stage . Air quality improved, however, and is now predicted to be moderate until at least Monday, according to the forecast from Clark County Department of Air Quality . Mostly sunny skies, with temperatures in the low 100s, are predicted for the weekend, according to Weather.com . On Thursday, the Carpenter 1 wildfire in the Spring Mountains northwest of Las Vegas was only 15% contained.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Jay Jones
The Las Vegas-area wildfire that has affected air quality in Clark County prompted the closure Thursday of hiking trails in Red Rock Canyon, a national conservation area. The Carpenter 1 fire spread Thursday into a remote part of Red Rock Canyon . The area's scenic loop was closed to motorists for part of Thursday morning, but the loop has since reopened. The visitor center is operating as usual. The fire's spread had slowed somewhat by Thursday ; about 28,000 acres in the region commonly called Mt. Charleston have been scorched, an increase of about 3,000 acres from Wednesday.
SCIENCE
July 10, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Wildfires such as the Yarnell Hill blaze in Arizona may be warming Earth's atmosphere far more than previously thought, according to a study by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Researchers at the Department of Energy facility normally chase fires throughout the western U.S., to measure their atmospheric effects. But in 2011, they took advantage of a conflagration that came to their doorstep - the Las Conchas fire that burned more than 150,000 acres and briefly caused the evacuation of the sprawling facility in the New Mexico desert.
NEWS
July 10, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Air quality in Las Vegas was downgraded to unhealthful on Wednesday as smoke from the large and growing Carpenter 1 wildfire cast a shroud over the Strip late Tuesday. Although winds again changed overnight, sending the worst of the heavy, gray and black smoke away from the tourist corridors, Phillip Wiker, a meteorologist with the Clark County Department of Air Quality, said, “What moved over us last night is still there. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there.” An air quality alert means that at-risk individuals such as children, the elderly and those with respiratory ailments, as well as healthy people could develop lung problems if they remain outside for lengthy periods of time, Wiker said.
NATIONAL
July 10, 2013 | By Devin Kelly, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
A large wildfire burning in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas has destroyed six structures and continues to grow, officials said Wednesday. Officials only had details about one of the buildings, a commercial structure at Prospect Springs Ranch, said fire spokeswoman Suzanne Shelp. It is not known if any homes were destroyed. More than a thousand firefighters from multiple states were working to protect more than 400 homes, as well as lodges and cabins, in canyon communities near Mount Charleston.
NEWS
July 9, 2013 | By Jay Jones
The wildfire raging in the Spring Mountains, a popular recreational area northwest of Las Vegas, grew to 19,800 acres Tuesday afternoon, although air quality in the Las Vegas Valley has not worsened, officials said. An air quality advisory remains in effect through Sunday. At-risk individuals, such as children, the elderly and people with respiratory ailments, are urged to stay indoors. The fire, dubbed Carpenter 1, has grown about 30% since Monday, when it had consumed 15,200 acres.
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