Bird striking power pole leads to brush fire

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue crews responded to a variety of service calls in recent days.

Fire Chief Scott Lewis said his crew was dispatched for a mutual aid assignment along Highway 178 at mile marker 50 in Inyo County for a motorcycle crash on Monday, Nov. 28.

“It was an injury motorcycle accident where the motorcycle rider left the roadway and flipped over several times,” Lewis said. “The rider met flight criteria, however, he declined air medical transport. He was then transported by ground to the local hospital.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, fire crews were dispatched to the 6900 block of South Oakridge Avenue for a structure fire, which was initially dispatched as a smoke investigation.

Lewis said upon arrival, fire crews conducted a scene size-up where they found smoke showing from the eaves of the structure.

“Crews also observed through a window, a room and contents fire and that assignment was upgraded to a structure fire,” he said. “We used a full contingency of suppression resources and crews conducted an interior attack on the large room and contents fire.”

Fire crews were able to extinguish the blaze and all occupants of the dwelling were accounted for.

The fire, Lewis said, is under investigation by the deputy state fire marshal.

Later that evening, fire crews responded to a residence in the 1100 block of Sierra Vista Circle after the driver of an SUV plowed into a home following a police action just after 10 p.m., where the driver fled the scene.

“Upon arrival, we found a full-size SUV that impacted the front wall of a one-story single-family dwelling, where there was extensive damage done to both the vehicle and an exterior wall of the house. Further investigation and an interior check found that the kitchen and most of the appliances were displaced as a result. There were no injuries associated with the occupants inside the structure.”

Firefighters eventually secured the structure, and the occupants vacated the home pending repairs.

On December 1st emergency crews were dispatched to the 3800 block of Ophir Street for an unknown-type fire just before 5 a.m.

Lewis said as crews were responding to the home, they observed 20-to-30-foot flames rising in the air.

“Upon arrival, we found a large rubbish fire at the rear of the property that had extended to the wood fence,” he said. “It was in very, very close proximity to multiple accessory buildings across the rear of the property. Fire crews made good progress although it was an extremely tight area. We had to add additional lengths of lines to the initial attack lines and that fire was controlled without incident and it is thought to be accidental in nature. The possible ignition source could have been a large compost pile in the backyard.”

On Sunday, Dec. 4, crews were dispatched for a structure fire in the Lakeside RV Park.

“Crews found a fire showing on the underside of a fifth-wheel travel trailer,” Lewis said. “The occupants safely egressed out of the structure and were all accounted for. There were no injuries reported.”

Lewis also noted that the fire extended from the underside into the interior, where crews were able to quickly control the fire with no extensions to nearby structures.

“The fire is thought to be accidental in nature where it was most likely related to an electrical failure,” Lewis said.

Later on Sunday, fire crews were dispatched to the 2700 block of East Thousandaire for a report of a brush fire.

“Upon arrival, crews found a grounds cover fire which had also extended to a utility pole,” Lewis said. “It was determined that a bird strike had caused the arcing on the pole which then caused a fire around the base of the pole. There were no other structures involved nor were there any injuries reported.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at On Twitter: @pvtimes