Sat 10:27pm: Some Nevada wildfire evacuees cleared to go home

Some residents will be allowed to return to their mountain homes near Las Vegas on Sunday, 10 days after they were forced to flee because of a wildfire that has grown to 44 square miles.

About 30 residents of Trout and Lovell canyons got the good news Saturday, while some 350 residents of Lee and Kyle canyons were awaiting word on when they can go home, officials said.

Smoke from the fire had been visible from downtown Las Vegas.

Fire information officer Larry Helmerick said rain and cloud cover allowed firefighters to reach 60 percent containment of the Carpenter 1 Fire on Mount Charleston, 25 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

“The fire danger has diminished quite a bit, but we’re not ready to say they can all go back home yet,” he told The Associated Press. “Hopefully, the containment numbers will go up, and we can refine it when the others can go back.”

Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa said officials empathize with residents who have been out of their homes since July 4, but they want to ensure their safety.

“Many of them have been staying with friends and family and at local motels. They’ve been anxious to go home.”

The fire, sparked by lightning on July 1, had sent a thick blanket of smoke over Las Vegas.