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Lithium Mine Fire Prompts Evacuation Scare in Silver Peak

SILVER PEAK, Nev. (AP) — A fire at the nation’s only lithium mine nearly forced the evacuation of a Nevada town.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Esmeralda County Sheriff Ken Elgan says about 100 barrels of lithium stored at the Rockwood mine, 215 miles northwest of Las Vegas, caught fire Monday and burned for around eight hours.

Authorities had a school bus ready to clear out some residents in the event that noxious smoke from the fire began to blow in the direction of Silver Peak, about 4 miles away.

Silver Peak is home to about 100 people.

No injuries were reported.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, burning lithium gives off fumes that can be irritating or toxic.

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