ELKO, Nev. (AP) -- Thousands of acres were ablaze Monday across northern Nevada after a weekend of lightning strikes and other causes, officials said.
The Esmeralda fire was sparked by lightning Friday and was about 5 percent contained by midday Monday after burning 35,000-40,000 acres near the town of Midas, fire officials said.
It was burning away from the small town 45 miles northeast of Battle Mountain in an area with active mines, grazing allotments and sage grouse habitat, said fire spokeswoman June McMillen.
About 250 firefighters were being assisted by at least one helicopter, she said. Ten engines were dispatched near Midas to protect structures if necessary.
The Wilson Complex is three lightning-sparked fires that converged 100 miles north of Elko. That fire near Tuscarora and the Duck Valley Indian Reservation has burned approximately 16,000, officials said.
''It's a ranching area, so I know they spent some time over the weekend trying to protect structures,'' McMillen said.
No structures were lost and none were immediately threatened, she said. There were no reports of injuries.
Elsewhere, the Contact fire 20 miles south of Jackpot near the Nevada-Idaho line was 50 percent contained. The 3,000-acre blaze burned some outbuildings but there were no reports of other structures being lost or damaged, officials said.
Unlike those fires, the Carlin fire east of Elko started Saturday and was human caused, officials said. Traffic on Interstate 80 in both directions was closed for several hours Saturday night when the fire burned on both sides of the highway.
It was contained Monday at about 2,000 acres, officials said.
The North Valley fire north of Winnemucca also broke out Saturday and is believed to have been caused by people, officials said. It was contained Monday at 4,480 acres.
Elsewhere, the 75-acre Summit fire was burning south of Hawthorne east of Highway 359 in the Whiskey Flat area. No structures were threatened and firefighters hoped to have it surrounded with a fire line by dusk on Tuesday.
In southern Nevada, a 30-acre desert fire was burning near the community of Sandy Valley, about 35 miles southwest of Las Vegas.
Fire spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said that fire started about 10 p.m. Sunday and also appeared to be human caused.
Conflicting reports were that people were shooting guns or setting off fireworks near where the fire started, she said.
With most of Nevada sizzling under triple-digit temperatures and low humidity, fire officials are warning outdoor enthusiasts to be extra careful.
The Elko Interagency Dispatch Center urged off-road vehicle owners not to travel on dirt roads because of the threat of sparking a fire in dry grass and weeds.