Voluntary evacuation lifted at 200-square mile Nevada fire

Posted at 12:53 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 14:53:56-04

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A wildfire that's burned nearly 200 square miles of rangeland in north-central Nevada continues to threaten priority sage grouse habitat -- but officials say the immediate danger for area ranches and towns appears to have passed.

More than 400 firefighters remained on the fire lines Tuesday at the lightning-sparked blaze that started Saturday, about 35 miles north of Battle Mountain.

Authorities lifted a voluntary evacuation order for the small mining town of Midas, fifty miles south of the Idaho border, after twenty aircraft aided ground crews with water and retardant drops on Monday.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Rudy Evenson says the wind-whipped flames came within a few hundred yards of homes early Monday.

The 122,000-acre fire is now 5 percent contained, but that number is expected to go up by Tuesday evening -- with full containment projected early next week.