Three Questions: Mount Charleston Fire

As Mount Charleston continued to burn on July 11 and Valley residents were warned to stay indoors to avoid the smoke-tainted air, Las Vegas native Milo Kostelecky found out the fire had engulfed his investment partners’ mountain property, Prospect Springs Ranch, off of Kyle Canyon Road. We spoke to Kostelecky—who is the director of the Las Vegas Film Festival—shortly after he got word.

How did you find out the ranch was burning?

I got a text on my phone at 11 this morning from our caretaker. We have a lodge, four cabins and 40 acres; there are six structures total, and I think four have burned. … The ranch is designed for gatherings—we’ve had the Boys and Girls Club up there. … I had very limited personal belongings in there; there’s nothing [sentimental] that I’m upset about. It’s just that it was a really cool place, a great place to bring people together, and I don’t know where we’ll do that now.

Was anyone at the ranch?

We had 50 firefighters staying there to fight the fire for several days, so we were getting updates. Our caretaker stayed up there and he kept sending me pictures, and we knew it was getting close. I saw pictures two days ago that made me really nervous. We don’t live there; there’s a full-time caretaker and 10 horses, three golden retrievers—they’re all safe. There were some peacocks wandering around, too.

What details have you been given about the fire?

This fire is more out of control, is bigger, than everybody thinks. I don’t see how they’re going to stop it. I’ve talked to some of the firefighters who say it’s completely uncontrollable and will just have to burn itself out. My biggest hope is that it will go around the Echo and Rainbow communities where people actually live—that’s their homes. I hope they can save those communities.