A home and four outbuildings were destroyed in a 75-acre fire that burned west of Highway 395 near Ruhenstroth.
The fire was first reported around 1 p.m. Sunday along the Carson River in the Indian Trail Road area, driven northeast by wind gusts of up to 40 mph.
Firefighters battled to keep the blaze from jumping Highway 395, where it would have threatened the southern Carson Valley community. Fences caught fire from burning embers.
Douglas County deputies went door to door to warn residents of the impending danger, and many left as a result. Vehicles clogged the unimproved road between Ruhenstroth and the Fairgrounds as heavy smoke and dust reduced visibility.
Winds shifted from southwest to west around 4 p.m. according to the National Weather Service. It started sprinkling rain in the Gardnerville Ranchos at around 4:20 p.m.
By 4:40 p.m. Ruhenstroth residents were being allowed back into their neighborhood from Pine Nut Road via the Fairgrounds. Highway 395 was open again by 6 p.m.
Fire units remained onscene overnight to watch for rekindle.
At the peak of the fight, East Fork had 35 engines, a dozer, and two helicopters.
While the 75-acre Frontage fire was caused by human action, it wasn’t weed burning, an East Fork Fire investigator said Monday morning.
Capt. Terry Taylor said there’s no evidence that anyone was clearing weeds on Sunday afternoon.
Taylor said the investigation is continuing into the fire’s cause.
The Regional Administrator, FEMA Region IX, determined that the Frontage Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.
The State’s request was approved on Sunday.
Fire Management Assistance Grants provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires which threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools; materials; supplies and mobilization; and demobilization activities.
East Fork Fire, Douglas County Sheriff’s, Search and Rescue and DCSO Posse notified residents and helped remove large animals from the area.
Firefighters came from across the Sierra Front to help fight the fire, including Carson City, Bureau of Land Management, Tahoe Douglas, Antelope Valley, Reno, Truckee Meadows, Storey, Lake Valley, Mono, Alpine, Incline, Nevada Division of Forestry and Smith Valley Fire.