7/17/2013 6:00:00 AM Two small wildfires contained
Butch Meriwether Special to the Miner
KINGMAN - Two fires sparked Monday afternoon in the Hualapai Mountains have been contained, according to fire officials.
"The two fires, one on North Potato Patch Loop and the other on the south side of Hayden Peak in the Hualapai Mountains, were probably caused by lightning strikes," said Pine Lake Fire Chief John Sticka. "Both fires started about 2 p.m. during thunderstorm activity."
Two helicopters from the Bureau of Land Management responded to the fires and had them fully contained by about 6:30 p.m., Sticka said.
Fire officials were examining the sites Tuesday morning to determine the acreage burned.
"A 6,000-gallon water pumpkin has been set up just outside the Pine Lake area for the helicopters to draw water out to replenish their water supply," said Michael Trent, who is the head district fire officer for the Colorado River District of the BLM. "One of the helicopters utilized a hanging bucket to douse the fire with water and the other used a long tube to draw water into an onboard 800-gallon bladder.
"There was a period of time during the fire yesterday in which the helicopters could not operate due to the thunderstorm activity, but we did have a Hot Shot crew of 20 firefighters on the ground working the fires."
Even though the two fires were relatively small, Trent said officials will monitor the fire areas to ensure there are no new flare-ups.
BLM officials also announced Monday that the 5,400-acre Dean Peak Fire has been designated as 100 percent contained.
One of the two helicopters will be released to go to other sites, Trent said.
"We will continue to have a helicopter on standby at the Kingman Airport just in case another fire in the area starts," he added.