Firefighters struggle to surround fire |

Firefighters struggle to surround fire

More than 500 acres in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest had burned by Wednesday in a wind-driven wildfire that started near Interstate 80 and the California-Nevada state line, according to Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.

Authorities could not say when they expect to contain what is now called the Highway fire, with just 20 percent contained Wednesday.

Federal investigators determined the blaze was human caused, but no further details were available, said Marnie Bonesteeler, Humboldt-Toiyabe Nation-al Forest’s public information officer.

Fire crews from surrounding agencies were struggling to climb steep, rocky terrain to reach the blaze, which started Monday around 1:30 p.m. about 500 feet from the westbound lanes of I-80.

One residence is threatened by the blaze, but no evacuation notices have been issued as of Wednesday. No injuries were reported.

The fire is burning more north and northwest of the state line, Bonesteeler said. She said Reno and Verdi residents should expect smoky conditions today.

Additional fire personnel ” a Type 2 federal team ” is on its way to the scene to assist crews, Bonesteeler said.

“Surprisingly, we are very lucky we’re not having down-canyon winds,” Bonesteeler said.

However, some erratic winds were expected in the area later Wednesday, she said.

The righthand westbound lane of I-80 was closed periodically Wednesday to allow for fire personnel access, said California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Skeen.

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