LAUGHLIN — A wildfire in the Big Bend of the Colorado River State Recreation Area that began Sunday afternoon with dark and heavy smoke was 50% contained as of 8:30 p.m.

It had burned 102 acres by that point and crews were holding it at that number, said Jennifer Ramella of the Nevada Division of State Parks, on Sunday evening.

No one was reported injured and no structures had been lost. About 500 visitors were evacuated from Big Bend.

Needles Highway from West Casino Drive to Aha Macav Parkway is expected to be closed until at least this afternoon. 

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. 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. 

Big Bend is about nine miles from Davis Dam and sits across from Bullhead City. A large number of canyons and washes can be found within its 2,100 acres.

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