Winds turn controlled fires into uncontrolled |

Winds turn controlled fires into uncontrolled

F.T. Norton
Photo by Brian CorleyJana Maas with the Reno fire department hoses down a burnt bush after a brush fire burned close to four acres in Washoe Valley on Sunday. Despite high winds and dry brush, fire fighters were able to put out several small fires in the area as fire season has gotten off to an early start.

A controlled burn turned out to be everything but controlled on Sunday when hidden embers from an extinguished pile sparked a wildfire that scorched four acres in Washoe Valley, according to the Nevada Division of Forestry.

Eighty fire fighters from the Carson City Fire Department, Nevada Division of Forestry and Reno Fire Department responded at 12:35 p.m. to Winters Creek Ranch camp in north Washoe Valley, Capt. Richard M. Riolo of the Nevada Division of Forestry said.

“A homeowner had a burn permit and said he thought he’d put it out at about 9:30 a.m.,” he said.

Riolo said although the original burn pile was wet, some embers must have stayed hot and were carried into the brush by 35 mph winds.

“The Reno Fire Department issued the permit,” he said.

Riolo said since Reno doesn’t inspect fires, this posed a problem Sunday.

“We inspect, especially up here,” he said. “We would never have allowed open burning today.”

The East Fork Fire District responded to a fire about 4:45 p.m. at Foothill and Greenacres roads in Genoa.

According to Douglas County dispatch, the fire started from a controlled burn Saturday that was extinguished, but began to smolder Sunday. The fire remained small and was quickly contained. No acreage estimates were available.