Truck’s Faulty Exhaust May Have Sparked Nevada Numbers Fire

Numbers Fire burned over 18,000 acres


Wildland firefighters at Numbers Fire. (InciWeb, USFS photo)


GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (AP) — Federal fire investigators believe a faulty exhaust system on a semi-tractor trailer sparked the Nevada wildfire along U.S. Highway 395 last week that destroyed three homes and burned more than 28 square miles (72 square kilometers) of mostly rangeland and rugged terrain near the California line.

InciWeb: Numbers Fire Update

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and East Fork Fire Protection District said Monday the possible failure of the exhaust system “allowed hot particles to be discharged along the highway right-of-way, igniting dry grass and brush” along the Sierra’s eastern front.

The fire was detected just before 7 p.m. July 6 near the Pine View Estates south of Gardnerville, along with several other small fires along US 395. No one was injured but 37 outbuildings were destroyed along with the three residences.

The bureau, Forest Service, fire district and Douglas County sheriff’s office spent the past week investigating the blaze and tracking its possible origin.

The (Gardnerville) Record-Courier first reported last week that authorities believed a vehicle dragging something may have sparked the fire.

Investigators said Monday they’re continuing to seek details about the incident and are asking anyone who may have seen a semi-tractor trailer heading south at about 6:45 p.m. to contact officials at

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