LAUGHLIN — A wildfire in the Big Bend of the Colorado River State Recreation Area that began Sunday afternoon had consumed about 225 acres by mid-day Monday.
The fire was termed more than 70% percent contained by mid-day Tuesday, about 48 hours after it erupted in the dry brush of the popular riverfront park on the Nevada side of the Colorado River.
No one was reported injured and no structures had been lost. About 500 visitors were evacuated from Big Bend, according to Jennifer Ramella of the Nevada Division of State Parks.
Needles Highway from West Casino Drive to Aha Macav Parkway was closed Sunday afternoon, forcing motorists traveling between Needles and Laughlin to seek other routes until the road was reopened Monday, then was closed sporadically as firefighters knocked down occasional flare-ups.
Ramella advised people to stay clear of the area while crews continue their work on the fire.
There were reports of some power poles catching on fire but whether those incidents directly caused utility outages is unknown, she said.
Resources from Clark County Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of Forestry, National Park Service and the Bullhead City, Fort Mojave and San Bernardino County fire departments were working to extinguish the blaze that was reported at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Air drops of material to slow the fire began mid-afternoon Sunday. Fire-fighting boats were operating in the Colorado River during the afternoon as well.
Ramella made note of natural boundaries that should help contain the blaze: The river, park roads, a parking lot and areas burned in the past.
Though the fire jumped Needles Highway — another boundary — the fire apparently was held within park boundaries, she said.
Firefighting efforts on Monday included the use of helicopters from BLM and the Nevada Department of Forestry to dump water on the flames while ground crews worked on searching the grounds, knocking down hot spots and containing flare-ups.
Big Bend is about nine miles from Davis Dam.
A large number of canyons and washes can be found within its 2,100 acres.