Wildfire Quickly Scorches 1,200 Acres

<i> Associated Press</i>

A rapidly spreading wildland fire in the Sierra just west of Verdi exploded to about 1,200 acres Thursday in its first five hours and damaged or destroyed three homes, officials said.

The homes were among a handful of custom houses at the Sierra foothills. At least three were damaged or lost along with three outbuildings, fire spokeswoman Carol Burcell said.

The Crystal Peak fire was reported shortly before 2 p.m. and raced through about 1,000 acres on the California side of the state line before it was three hours old, said Tahoe National Forest spokesman Jerry Kent in Truckee, Calif.