Pleasant Valley brush fire gives homeowners a scare |

Pleasant Valley brush fire gives homeowners a scare

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal An air-tanker drops a load of fire retardant near a threatened home at the South Earlham Court off of St. James Parkway on Monday afternoon. The fire started in Browns Creek Canyon, off Joy Lake Road in southwest Reno.

Cody Kosman was working with friends on building an RV garage on South Earlham Road in St. James Village Monday afternoon when something rushed by his back yard.

It was a brush fire.

“We smelled it,” he said. “It came right up past my back yard, about 50 feet away. These construction guys and some residents had shovels and were trying to put it out as the fire trucks were coming.”

Kosman said the construction workers and residents did a good job fighting the blaze at first.

“They almost had it down, then the wind picked up, and it was gone.”

The fire, called the Pagni fire because it was near Pagni Lane in Pleasant Valley, burned about 38 acres from the new Highway 395 expansion bridge to the edge of St. James Village, said Steve Frady, public information officer for the Reno Fire Department. He added there were no evacuations and no structures burned – though the fire came close.

“It came close to a couple houses and one under construction,” Frady said.

He said the fire started between 2 and 3 p.m., but that by 4:30, firefighters had contained it. The cause was under investigation, he added.

“There will be hot spots in the center,” Frady said. “We’ll have crews on it through the night.”

He said 21 pieces of equipment converged on the blaze, including an engine, two water tenders, a bulldozer, three hand crews and two single-engine air tankers.

Frady said agencies cooperating with the Reno Fire Department in fighting the fire included the Nevada Division of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, REMSA and the Washoe Search and Rescue.

Kosman said the construction company has a water truck and had been watering construction roads to control dust, which helped keep the fire from burning the expensive homes in the village.

“Boy, they tell you to have a fire barrier around your house, and I think that’s what saved all these houses,” he said. “It was that construction road.”

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@ or 882-2111 ext. 351.