Update on incidents in Lander County, Nevada

BATTLE MOUNTAIN, Nev. – Three incidents took place in Lander County, Nevada on August 18, a helicopter crash involving employees from the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the Sheep Creek Fire and a burn over of two firefighters responding to the fire.

The helicopter crash took place around 2 p.m. on August 18. It was a contract helicopter carrying a pilot and two NDOW biologists on a wildlife survey flight. The pilot and one of the biologists had minor injuries and the other biologist had injuries to their neck and back. All three are in good condition and the crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of safety with our employees and the public and we are grateful everyone on the flight is safe,” said Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Shortly after the crash, the Sheep Creek Fire was reported approximately 15 miles north of Battle Mountain. Crews from the Battle Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and the Bureau of Land Management responded to the fire. During the response, an engine from the Battle Mountain VFD was burned over injuring two firefighters. The firefighters were taken to a burn center and information on their status will be provided when it becomes available.

 “Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters, their families and the entire community. Lander County is a tight knit community and many are affected by this tragedy,” said Lander County Manager Keith Westengard.

The Sheep Creek fire is currently at 7,000 acres and approximately 5 percent containment and the cause remains under investigation. More information about the fire can be found in Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6157/.

“This situation highlights the dangers faced by all partners and agencies who assist with battling wildfires,” said acting BLM Nevada State Director Mike Courtney. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters and their families as they deal with the injuries and recovery.”

“The Nevada Department of Wildlife will also continue to keep the injured firefighters and their families in our thoughts and prayers,” added Wasley.