Live coverage: Brush fire burning in Topaz Ranch Estates | NevadaAppeal.com

Live coverage: Brush fire burning in Topaz Ranch Estates

Firefighters battle a wind-driven fire that has destroyed at least two homes and a number of outbuildings in Topaz Ranch Estates, south of Gardnerville, Nev., on Monday, May 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
AP | FR70203 AP

(AP) – A fast-moving wildfire near the Nevada-California line destroyed at least two homes on Tuesday as it forced evacuations and sent up huge plumes of black smoke, witnesses said.

The fire in the Topaz Ranch Estates area of south Douglas County broke out in the afternoon and was reported around 1:30 p.m. It was burning in thick brush, driven by 40 mph winds.

Witnesses also say several outbuildings have also been destroyed, and residents are being evacuated. Rural homes in the area are on a hillside that leads to the Pine Nut Mountains.

Highway 208 between Holbrook Junction and Wellington was closed to everyone except residents.

A dispatcher with the Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators says Douglas County has requested air tankers and assistance from other agencies.

Winds have been steady and gusting throughout the day across the region that has seen very little moisture all winter, leaving vegetation dry and extremely flammable.