Eighty firefighters battled poor access and a fire fueled by 40 to 60 mph winds Thursday to save a home off of Painted Rock Road east of Reno.
The fire began on the porch, spread to the house, to an outbuilding and finally consumed 20 acres of sagebrush in northern Storey County, said county Emergency Management Director Joe Curtis.
The home is owned by an older couple who was in the care of the Salvation Army Thursday night, he said.
The first engines on scene arrived about 40 minutes after the 3:20 p.m. call. He said the turn off to Painted Rock Road is about 20 minutes by freeway from the county's station in Lockwood.
"Access was extremely difficult," Curtis said. "The only way in was a single-lane dirt road not easily accessible by large fire apparatus. The home was fully involved when we arrived on scene. We immediately requested equipment from Wadsworth and Lyon County."
Very little rain fell to help the effort.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but appears to be accidental, Curtis said.
Firefighters from Storey, Lyon and Washoe counties, the Reno and Sparks fire departments, the Nevada Division of Forestry and the Bureau of Land Management battled the blaze.
The 2,200 square-foot, two-story, wood-frame home was destroyed. The fire also damaged an outbuilding that serves as a pump house and garage and burned 20 acres of brush up to and across the Truckee River.
Among the 80 firefighters were crews, apparatus and command staff from all four Storey County fire stations; two crews, six engines and three battalion chiefs from NDF; eight engines, three water tenders and three battalion chiefs from Reno; a water tender, three engines and a battalion chief from Sparks; seven engines, three water tenders and two command personnel from Lyon County; two engines and a battalion chief from BLM. The first crews were released at about 9:20 p.m.
Firefighters remained on scene through the night and will finish mopping up today, Curtis said.
No injuries were reported and no estimate of damage was available Thursday night.
n Kelli Du Fresne is city editor for the Nevada Appeal. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 881-1261.