House burned in Carson City’s Waterfall fire
July 14, 2004
The Waterfall fire burning on a ridge above Kings Canyon in West Carson City is rapidly spreading north.KOLO News reporter John Tyson sustained second degree burns on his hands and face and his vehicle was lost as he tried to gather news footage at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.”There were several of us running for our lives. I was one of them,” Tyson said.Tyson said he was on his way to his truck when he saw the flames. He tried to find his keys couldn’t and then ran. His vehicle was burned.Reporting from the scene for the Nevada Appeal, a sister paper of the Sierra Sun, F.T. Norton said “It just went up in flames. A minute ago, there was nothing. Now it’s a wall of flames.”Western Nevada Community College was evacuated, at 1:42 p.m. as was the lower portion of Kings Canyon. At 2 p.m. Ash Canyon residents were evacuated, Lakeview residents were given a volunteer evacuation order. At least one house is reported lost. One family had to turn their horses loose.Photographer Cathleen Allison said flames are 30 yards of houses in the 3500 block of Kings Canyon Road.”It’s flying north,” she said.A homeowner at 4340 Kings Canyon Road called to report his house was on fire.Carson City Fire Battalion Chief Dan Shirey said. “We’re going to see lessons in unpredictability. This fire if predictably unpredictable.”Technical rescue crews were on the way at 11:45 a.m. to assist an injured firefighter thought to have a broken leg. Officials are unsure which agency he is from. A strike team has been called in consisting of various equipment from several agencies.Authorities are asking the public to stay away from the area and keep streets clear for emergency vehicles. The fire has forced the mandatory evacuation of at least 56 homes and threatens many more if the wind changes.”The potential is very definite that as soon as the wind changes here, which is likely, it can take a run down here towards the homes,” said Shirey.Witnesses said the fire reported to be 300 acres has likely doubled since the last official estimate. The fire started about 4 a.m. and by 5:30 a.m. a helicopter and a plane were dropping water and slurry.About 7:30 a.m., a smaller fire broke about 200 yards below the ridge. As a hand crew made its way up, the air crews bombed the blaze. With crews attention diverted from the upper blaze, its original acreage grew substantially, but into an area burned a few years ago.”The smaller fire didn’t help,” he said. But the upper fires growth, “burnt into the black.”Our main thing was to keep it from spreading.”Capitol Cab driver Robert Wittling was sitting along Kings Canyon Road watching the flames early Wednesday.”I’m just calling into dispatch what I see,” he said. He first noticed the fire as he headed down into Carson City from Mound House.”That’s our mountain their man. I hope they put it out.”Families were evacuated about 8:15 a.m. to Fritsch Elementary School at Mountain and Bath streets. No traffic is allowed past Ormsby Boulevard on Kings Canyon Road.Personnel from the Carson Fire Department and Division of Forestry are battling the blaze.