Two Battle Mountain volunteer firefighters are being treated for second- and third-degree burns after their engine was burned over while fighting the 59,000-acre Sheep Creek Fire, according to an update from Lander County.
One firefighter has second- and third-degree burns over 14 percent of their body and the other has second- and third-degree burns over 33 percent of their body.
The incident happened during the initial response to the blaze. Crews from the Battle Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and the Bureau of Land Management were first to respond to the fire.
Both firefighters are being treated at a hospital burn center and their names are not being released at this time.
The fire started around 2 p.m. Saturday15 miles north of Battle Mountain in central Nevada, roughly the same time and near the location where a Nevada Department of Wildlife-contracted helicopter crashed.
The fire was 50 percent contained as of Monday evening.
It’s still unclear if the helicopter crash sparked the blaze and the cause is still being investigated.
The pilot and two NDOW biologists were injured in the crash, with one of the biologists suffering neck and back injuries.
The helicopter was conducting a routine wildlife survey, according to NDOW spokesperson Beth Kenna.
Flames are burning through brush and tall grass and firefighters are contending with extreme fire behavior, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s InciWeb wildfire information system.
Firefighters are also concerned with hot, dry and gusty conditions, which may strengthen as the day goes on.
People wishing to send a note or card to the firefighters can mail them to Lander County c/o HR, 50 State Route 305, Battle Mountain, NV 89820.