Thursday, June 5, 2014 | 6:30 p.m.
A mulch fire near Moapa may generate a haze of smoke visible in the Las Vegas Valley for up to a week.
The 40-acre fire, which started accidentally Wednesday, is burning mulch at a landfill on Bureau of Indian Affairs land a couple of miles southeast of Interstate 15, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The landfill is near a rest stop at the Valley of Fire exit, about 30 miles north of Las Vegas.
Officials expect the fire to smolder for about a week, although BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said it could burn out sooner than that. The cause of the fire was accidental, Cannon said, and the BLM is working with Indian Affairs to conduct an investigation.
Seven million acres of public land in Southern Nevada are under fire restrictions for the summer months. Cannon said that half of fires in a typical year are caused by humans, while half are caused by lightning. The restrictions prohibit things like campfires, fireworks and welding.
Sixty-five fires have occurred so far this year on public land in Southern Nevada, Cannon said.