Illegal fireworks blamed for series of fires

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and North Lyon County Fire Protection District are looking for information about people using illegal fireworks that started a series of fires Tuesday night, including a large one near Inglewood Drive.

North Lyon County Fire Protection District Chief Scott Huntley said firefighters responded to a brush fire located on Inglewood Drive in Fernley at 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, during the Fernley 4th of July fireworks show. The fire was approximately three acres, covering several parcels. Light to medium brush was involved, as the fire spread quickly due to dry conditions. No injuries occurred, and no structures were involved.

Huntley said crews were on scene within minutes due to performing standby-by at the 4th of July fireworks show. He said the cause of the fire was illegal fireworks, and there is an active investigation to locate those responsible.


Reports on social media said several houses were on fire, but that turned out not to be the case.

“It did look though at first as we were arriving that homes were involved, because the amount of fire all around them,” said firefighter Bill Snyder, who was the Incident Commander. “So I can see how people calling 911 would say that.”

Snyder said firefighters encountered a fire three blocks in size, with about 10-12 homes immediately threatened and the River Ranch and Donner Trails subdivisions threatened within 300 yards.

Ten firefighters from North Lyon County Fire, with three engines, a tender, an ambulance, and a command unit responded. Mutual aid was provided by Churchill County Fire, Storey County Fire and Central Lyon County Fire Protection District. A total of 22 firefighters responded.

The Fire District also responded to several EMS incidents, and motor vehicle collisions during the Inglewood Fire.

The 4th of July show was terminated due to the fire, and had been delayed earlier due to smaller fires being attributed to illegal fireworks.

“We had four other fires as it got dark throughout town from other illegal fireworks,” Snyder said. “We had another five or six spot fires right under where the fireworks were going off.”

The Fire District reminds residents that non-professionally licensed fireworks are prohibited, and citations are being issued.

Huntley asked that residents contact the Lyon County Sherriff’s Office with information related to any fire, or individuals in possession of illegal fireworks.

“The wide spread illegal fireworks use may jeopardize the Fire District’s ability to support future pyrotechnic events other than standing by in the future,” Huntley said. “We hope the community realizes the actions of those that choose to break the law, is impacting them and that all malicious activities should be reported.”

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