Dangerous fire threatening homes in Reno area

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A fast-moving wildfire is threatening hundreds of homes and forcing the evacuations of many residents in the Caughlin Ranch area of southwest Reno this afternoon.

Reno Fire Department spokesman Steve Frady said the smoky blaze, being fanned by winds gusting to 30 mph, had burned at least 120 acres of brush and some timber.

More than 150 firefighters were battling the fire, aided by two air tankers. More fire crews were en route to the area.

"This is potentially very dangerous," Frady said. "The fire has burned up to the backyards of some homes." He estimated the threatened homes at 150 to 250, but said that estimate was "very, very conservative."

"Its still running," said Mike Dondero, fire management officer for the Nevada Division of Forestry. "It is extremely dangerous right now."

"I'm confident we can stop it, but we have a shortage of resources because we have about 30 fires going in Elko County and four major fires in the Winnemucca area," Dondero said. "So our resources are extremely limited."

Mike Trudell, manager of the Caughlin Ranch Homeowners Association, said he believes the fire started near a construction site, but he didn't know exactly where or the cause. The homes that burned in Lake Tahoes recent Angora fire has been on the minds of the people in the area, he added.

Several streets were closed, including parts of normally busy McCarran Boulevard.

Besides threatening homes, the fire was spreading west toward the Mount Rose wilderness area.

Washoe County Animal Services has sent a mobile unit to the area to aid residents with evacuations. Those in need of services, or those who can lend a corral or other are asked to call 353-8901.


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