- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ELKO, Nev. (AP) - A wildfire forced the closure of a road, trails and campgrounds at Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada, where another fire has grown to nearly 14 square miles in the scenic Ruby Mountains east of Elko, federal officials said Wednesday.

No injuries have been reported and officials with the National Park Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management haven’t said any structures have been damaged. Both fires were spotted Monday following lightning strikes in the area more than 200 miles north of Las Vegas.

More than 160 firefighters and a helicopter were battling the 7-square-mile fire near Wheeler Peak, where park spokeswoman Nichole Andler said one campground was threatened.

The fire west of Baker was about 10 percent contained, with a warning in effect until late Wednesday about hot dry winds in the area. Fire managers expect it will take another week to contain the fire.

Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive and the Wheeler Peak, Lehman Creek and Strawberry campgrounds were closed.

But Andler said the park’s Lehman Caves Visitor Center remained open, and skies were expected to be clear of smoke late Thursday for a scheduled meteor shower viewing event.

BLM spokesman Chris Hanefeld said more than 150 firefighters are working to contain the larger wildfire about 3 miles west of Bald Mountain Mine and 5 miles south of Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

It was about 10 percent contained, with no immediate threat to the mine or the refuge, Hanefeld said.


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