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Brutal Wind-Driven Fires Ravage Reno

Reno firefighters battle blazes that destroyed two homes on Starr Meadows early Friday Nov. 18, 2011. Marilyn Newton/RGJ

 NV Governor Declares State of Emergency: 9,500 Evacuated

Erratic winds, gusting up to 80 miles an hour, have driven flames deep into the heart of Reno’s Caughlin Ranch area, destroying more than 20 homes and forcing at least 9,000 residents to evacuate.

The fire, origin of which is still under investigation, broke out about 12:30 this morning and immediately spread out of control.

Firefighters from throughout Northern Nevada are racing to the scene, battling both large spot fires threatening structures in the city’s Caughlin Ranch area near the Manzanita Lane and McCarran Blvd. areas, and fast-moving wildfires in the Bartley Ranch area. In some instances embers from flames have started spot fires in areas more than a mile from the source.

Because of the number of fires and their wide distribution fire resources are spread incredibly thin. The highly erratic winds have also made it impossible for fire agencies to use aircraft to fight the fires, leaving hand crews and ground resources to fend for themselves in dangerous conditions.

The National Weather Service warns that the strong winds will continue till nightfall, leaving firefighters with the daunting task of spending the next 10 hours fighting to contain damage within the city. Reno is also not getting the moisture we are here in Susanville. Instead its a clear, dry and very windy day.

Here are some resources to help you find out more detailed information about the fires:

For really good coverage follow these links to Channel 2 KTVN and the Reno Gazette Journal .

The Reno Gazette Journal also has a gallery of pictures from the fire.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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