Phones were knocked out at about 4 p.m. in Minden and Gardnerville on Thursday.
Officials from GTE and Nevada Bell were trying to work out what happened.
A spokeswoman for Nevada Bell said the problem was traced to a damaged fiber inside GTE's phone lines.
Mike Page of GTE said it appeared that a cable in the area was severed.
Page did not know where the cable was. GTE technicians are still working on the problem, he said.
The phones were out for as long as 30 minutes in Gardnerville.
Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Lance Modispacher said Thursday that the department's phones were out for between five and 10 minutes.
"We didn't get an explanation," he said.
Dispatchers broadcast emergency procedures which sent people with an emergency to go to their local fire station.
However, immediately after the announcement was broadcast the phones were restored.