- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Firefighters have gained the upper hand on a wildland blaze that has burned nearly 200 square miles of rangeland in north-central Nevada and now expect to have it fully contained as early as Thursday.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials estimated 40 percent containment late Tuesday thanks in part to an aerial assault from 20 aircraft dropping water and retardant on the lighting-sparked fire that started Saturday about 35 miles north of Battle Mountain.

Some of the 450 firefighters on the ground were being sent to other fires in the region.

Authorities lifted a voluntary evacuation order earlier Tuesday for the small mining town of Midas 50 miles south of the Idaho line.

BLM spokesman Rudy Evenson says the wind-whipped flames came within a few hundred yards of homes earlier this week.

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