LAS VEGAS (AP) — Firefighters working in rainstorms to contain a massive wildfire in the mountains northwest of Las Vegas are being joined by crews taking the first steps toward restoring damaged plant and animal habitat.

The U.S. Forest Service launched a Burned Area Emergency Response effort Friday in parts of the nearly 44 square miles charred by the Carpenter 1 fire.

Interagency fire spokesman Larry Helmerick says it rained hard enough on and around Mount Charleston to create flash flooding in eastern parts of the burn zone.

There was no immediate word of damage to roads or homes.

Firefighters earlier reported 43 percent containment of the fire, including protection of more than 400 homes, a rustic hotel and a scenic alpine lodge in Kyle Canyon.

More than 500 residents remain evacuated.

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