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Red Rock Canyon wildfire has burned about 400 acres

A fire that started sweeping through an area of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area early Monday had grown to about 400 acres by evening.

The Cottonwood Valley Fire, first reported shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, was about 20 percent contained as of about 7 p.m., according to the Bureau of Land Management. More than 140 firefighters were working to suppress the blaze.

An online map of Nevada wildfires showed the blaze just west of Black Velvet Road, north of state Route 160. The fire is not within the Red Rock Canyon scenic loop.

No structures are threatened, and the bureau reported no injuries as of Monday evening.

The fire was caused by human activity, which is under investigation, according to a Bureau of Land Management news release. Part of it is burning in the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness area and is threatening mountain bike trails and bighorn sheep habitat.

Hot and dry weather conditions are expected for the next few days, which the bureau considered a concern. Gusty winds in the area Monday made the fire spread “erratic,” according to an agency overview of the situation, but containment was estimated by midnight Thursday.

Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Illia said the fire had forced state Route 160 to briefly close Monday afternoon. More closures are possible as crews continue to fight the blaze.

The fire marked the second fire to break out just west of Las Vegas since Thursday, when target shooting sparked a wildfire that has burned about 1,380 acres. The separate Sandy Valley fire was 90 percent contained as of Sunday night, and is expected to be fully contained this week.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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