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Pahrump-area first responders battle brush fires, heat

A series of brush fires have dominated recent service calls for Pahrump first responders beginning late last week.

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services Chief Scott Lewis said crews were dispatched for a reported brush fire along the 3300 block of West Maple Road last Thursday morning just before 9:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire is believed to have been someone’s pet cat.

“Upon arrival, we found a slow-moving ground-cover fire in a vacant lot where it involved a power pole,” Lewis said. “The initial investigation revealed that a cat had apparently climbed the power pole and came in contact with the energized lines. The cat passed away from its injuries and that fire was quickly extinguished with no extensions.”

More brush fires

Later that day, fire crews were summoned to the area of Blagg Road and Jarvis Street for yet another brush fire.

“Upon arrival, crews found an approximate less than one-acre ground-cover fire running alongside the roadway,” he said. “It was a fast-moving, wind-driven fire but crews were able to control that fire with no extensions to any of the nearby structures. In addition to that call, a power pole was also involved as well where Valley Electric crews were informed.”

On Friday, fire crews were dispatched to the area of Pahrump Valley Boulevard and Jeanne Street for a brush fire just before 6:30 p.m.

“The initial report indicated that it was a quick-moving ground-cover fire heading into the direction of an unoccupied structure,” Lewis said. “Upon arrival, crews found the fire running in both directions along Pahrump Valley Boulevard as well as Jeanne Street. Crews quickly controlled that fire with no extensions to any of the nearby structures and there were no injuries.”

Seven hospitalized following DUI crash

A total of seven people were transported to Desert View Hospital following a two-vehicle, head-on collision along Highway 372 and Linda Street just after 10 a.m. on Saturday, where one driver was arrested for DUI.

“The initial report was that the accident occurred at the Horizon Market further east toward Highway 160. However, the accident was actually discovered to be in front of the Horizon Market at Linda and Highway 372,” Lewis said. “Upon arrival, we found a T-bone type accident with significant damage to both vehicles. There were five occupants in one vehicle and two occupants in the second vehicle who also sustained injuries. All were transported to the local hospital. We added additional medic units, as well as our heavy rescue, who also responded. There were a total of seven transported.”

The driver told sheriff’s deputies she took prescribed narcotic medications throughout the day.

Her 5-year-old daughter was in the back seat of the vehicle at the time of the collision. Another juvenile suffered a broken right hand in the crash.

Rollover crash

A single-vehicle rollover accident prompted the response of emergency crews on Saturday afternoon in the area of Highway 160 and Desert Trails.

“Upon arrival, we found a vehicle resting on its side,” Lewis said. “Just prior to our arrival, the patient had self-extricated and while there were injuries, that patient opted not to be transported to the hospital. The Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating that accident.”

Crash involves pedestrian

On Sunday, fire crews were dispatched to the Walmart parking lot on Highway 160 for a reported pedestrian versus automobile accident near the auto service center at 3 p.m.

“The initial report was that a pedestrian had been pinned up against a wall by a vehicle,” Lewis said. “Upon arrival, we found the vehicle had backed up and no longer had that patient pinned. That patient sustained injuries that were consistent with flight to UMC Trauma in Las Vegas, however, flight crews were on another assignment, and that patient was transported to the local hospital.”

Power pole fire

On Monday this week, fire crews were dispatched for a reported brush fire in the area of Manse and Homestead roads at 1:40 a.m.

“Upon arrival, crews found approximately a half-acre mixed fuel brush fire which also involved a power pole,” Lewis said. “Crews quickly contained that fire with no further extensions and that fire is under investigation. There were no injuries.”

Handling the heat

Along with responding to emergency service calls, Lewis addressed how his crews were dealing with the recent oppressive heat throughout the Pahrump Valley.

He also noted his department has seen an escalation in heat-related service calls as of late.

“We have seen an increase in calls with just about everything regarding the heat including respiratory emergencies, cardiac emergencies and prolonged exposure to the sun,” he said. “We are just reminding everyone, especially the elderly, to stay hydrated and let people know where they are going. You may want to give an approximate time when you will be returning, where people can start looking for you earlier, rather than later.”

As far as he and his crews, Lewis said they are taking additional precautions while working accidents and fires in the valley.

“Hydration is key for us and we are also making sure that if we don’t need our personal protective equipment on, are shedding off as much as possible to be able to endure these kinds of temperatures. We are keeping our crews inside as much as possible and curtailing our training to the evening hours. We take every precaution necessary.”

Additionally, Lewis said extra consideration is taken in regard to his fleet of emergency vehicles.

“One of our challenges is maintaining our air-conditioning units and alternators on all of our apparatuses due to the heat,” he said. “We are starting to get a flurry of mechanical failures due to the heat and we have curtailed some of our operations and try to minimize the amount of larger apparatuses going on service-related assignments. If it’s a fire or something real serious, then everything goes as listed in our protocols and operational procedures. But, if we don’t need them, we try to hold them in quarters, and do more with the smaller pieces of equipment.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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