Two large wildfires escaped containment Monday and continue to rage in Nevada near Las Vegas and Reno. Over 750 firefighters and 18 Hotshot crews are currently battling the Las Vegas fire, 25 miles northwest of the City.
The Las Vegas fire, named Carpenter 1, was declared a top national priority due to the value of structures at risk and its size, Suzanne Shelp, a Forest Service spokeswoman told the Associated Press. More than 400 homes have been evacuated and two state highways closed as firefighters struggle to contain its growth. Smoke from the blaze is visible from downtown Las Vegas and the local air qualty department issued an adivsory set to take effect through Sunday.
In northern Nevada, the fire near Reno doubled in size Monday as it burned through dead trees and juniper forests. Officials have closed popular back-country roads in the Carson City and Sacramento regions as 700 firefighters combat the blaze, which has yet to destroy any homes. The fire broke out on July 4 and firefighters hoped to have it contained by Monday, but strong wins fanned the fire Monday to the northeast, hampering their efforts.