Photo by Michael Klapprich
Firefighters have been battling the Goshute Fire since it started on Aug. 13

The Ely Times

Another day of smokey skies. This time, a fire that’s even a little closer to home than usual.

The Goshute Fire that started on Thursday, Aug. 13, from a lightning-ignited fire has been burning for almost three weeks. This particular fire started in a very steep rugged terrain.

The Bureau of Land Management has been monitoring it from the day they received the call. The safety of personnel has been a number one priority.

The fire is located 55 miles northeast of Ely, where several livestock ranches are located. The fire has also been reported to be approximately nine miles from Cherry Creek.

Firefighters and public safety have been the top priority. The fire is burning white fir, mountain mahogany and limber pine in steep, rugged terrain inaccessible to firefighters. It’s increasing native vegetative diversity and improving native wildlife habitat.

People have reported seeing mule deer, foxes and other wildlife running across the road to escape the fire.

By Aug. 21, the fire grew to 795 acres but on Aug. 23, the fire grew to 4,475 acres, and then to 6,155 by the next day.

The northern edges of the fire overnight burned outside the Goshute Canyon Wilderness at Indian Creek drainage and dry canyon and onto public lands in Elko County where the Bureau of Land Manage had constructed a contingency fire.

Three different contingency lines were put in place to create a safety barrier. A brush mower was utilized to assist with creating one of the contingency lines.

Grazing permittees moved cattle out of the fire area. The BLM has reportedly stated they have been utilizing both ground and aviation resources, but on Aug. 25, high afternoon winds grounded aircraft, hampering firefighting efforts on the northwest flank and put the fire at 7,406 acres burning.

Winds picked up and on Aug. 26 and the fire had grew to 15,000 acres. Most of the increase was internal, except for the southeast flank that backed in Carry Creek, nine miles north of the Cherry Creek community.

Some residents in Cherry Creek haven’t appeared to be to concerned at the moment.

John Evans, fire chief for the Steptoe Valley Volunteer Fire Department, commented that the fire crews were doing everything they could to keep the residents in Cherry Creek safe.

Much of the area burning is inaccessible safely to fire crews, trees are reportedly 80-100 feet high, and with safety as the number one concern, fire crews will work in the areas possible, and air tankers will continue with water wind permitting.

The fire is currently at 30 percent containment, and 17,749 acres have been burned.