ELKO – A lightning-sparked fire has grown to more than 6,000 acres near Cottonwood Canyon south of Crescent Valley.

The Cottonwood Fire was first reported around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and was estimated to have consumed 500 acres by morning.

Steep terrain has made the fire difficult to contain. Four helicopters and eight heavy air tankers were on the scene as of Wednesday afternoon along with several dozers that are working to create a line around the fire.

There are more than 50 firefights at the scene including personnel from the BLM, Nevada Division of Forestry, Elko County Fire Protection District and volunteer firefighter units.

Firefighters hope to have the blaze contained by Friday.

Greg Deimel, BLM public affairs officer, said the attack on the fire will have to be carried out from the air for now.

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“I heard this morning that one road into the fire was pretty bad. We can bring a grater or a dozer in to fix the road, but there aren’t many roads down there to start with,” he said. “Eight air tankers and four helicopters is a lot of air assets. For a fire that’s inaccessible, air assets are whats going to do most of the work.”

Deimel also noted that people need to be careful with their campfires, where they are allowed, over the next couple of months as conditions are still dry.

“Fire season won’t be over until we get significant rain or snow, and we may get snow before we get rain at this point,” he said.

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