Businesses help keep fire at bay

Several businesses pulled together this week to protect homes and property from the Linehan fire.

Among them were several construction companies that assisted with digging fire lines and watering down homes around Linehan Road to keep spark-up fires at bay.

"We put up some firebreaks as the fires were merging together up here," Paul Wilson, of Art Wilson Co., said Tuesday afternoon. "We did them first at the north end of Linehan, where all the homes were at. Then we came down across Linehan and went up the mountain."

A gypsum mine off Linehan Road shut down operations and focused its efforts on keeping the fire back and protecting homes, the mine manager said Tuesday afternoon.

The American Flat fire merged into the Linehan fire late Monday. It has grown to more than 5,000 acres. About 300 firefighters from 13 different agencies are fighting the blaze that stretches as far north as McClellan Peak and has burned in Carson City, Lyon and Storey counties. The fire has charred acreage up to Highway 50 East and has run up to the property lines of several businesses off the highway.

On Tuesday, Wilson could see that the fire had come right up to the firebreaks at the northwest, west and south side of the Art Wilson Co. gypsum mine property.

Ten of his 50 employees were working on fire control Monday and Tuesday. The two Wilson water trucks sprayed buildings and land until 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Chris Bird, of Christopher Bird Construction of Mound House, drove up and down Linehan road in his water truck.

"I was trying to make sure yards were wet so nobody's home caught on fire," he said. "I sprayed everything on Linehan up to McClellan Peak."

Danny Coons, owner of Coons Construction of Mound House, and Marv McQueary Excavating, of Carson City, assisted in digging a mile-long firebreak on the south side of the gypsum mine and a mile-and-a-half-long break on the west side going north to protect more than 50 homes off the road, Wilson said.

"Everybody pulled together up here," said Kelly Coons, office manager, and wife of Danny Coons. "We have a fabulous community, and I'm very impressed that none of the structures burned."

Production at the Mound House mine was halted at 6 p.m. Monday.

"We haven't been able to get started," Wilson said. "The (fire) battalion chief is scared of flare-ups."

American Ready Mix, on Linehan Road, experienced some delays early in the morning because of road closures, but they are not experiencing any problems or slow downs at their Mound House plant, said a spokeswoman.

"Everyone in the community has turned out to help the local fire effort," said Karla Norris, Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman. "We could not do this job without the support of the community."

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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