Nevada fire mostly contained, but may smolder for months

July 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM

LAS VDEGAS, Nev., July 16 (UPI) -- Firefighters say they are scaling back operations after containing 80 percent of a wildfire that has scorched 28,000 acres of Nevada's Mount Charleston.

Officials said they expect the fire to burn for months in inaccessible higher elevations, the Las Vegas Sun reported Monday.

More than 800 firefighters are still working the fire, but are expected to hand off remaining containment efforts to local authorities, said Larry Helmerick, a public information officer with the incident management team.

On Tuesday, firefighters were expected to extinguish small fires and remove possible fuel within 500 feet of control lines.

The fire has already cost $16.5 million, Helmerick said.

Some 300 residents of Kyle Canyon will be allowed back into their homes Wednesday and access to the mountain will be opened on Friday, said fire spokesman Jon Kohn.

The fire isn't expected to be fully contained until snowfall, he said. Kohn estimated chances of the fire spreading at 5 percent.

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