12,000 Acres Burn Near Reno; Homes Threatened
Skies over Reno stayed smoky Thursday as firefighters battled lightning-caused fires that have blackened more than 12,000 acres of public and private land.
There were no reports of injuries or damage to homes.
Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Mark Struble said the top priorities were separate 5,000-acre and 7,000-acre brush fires that burned within 200 feet of homes Wednesday night 15 miles north of Reno.
No homes were threatened Thursday, but firefighters sought to gain the upper hand on the blazes before another round of thunderstorms forecast later in the week.
The fires in the Hungry and Antelope valleys were among about half a dozen still burning out of control in the Reno area after starting Wednesday afternoon.
Fire officials said the Hungry Valley fire was 50% contained, but were unsure about containment of the Antelope Valley blaze.
An undetermined number of residents were advised to leave their homes Wednesday night, but most chose to remain.
“When the fires broke out, people started packing stuff and running around like crazy,” resident Viola Gomez told KOLO-TV in Reno.
It was the second time in two years that wild fires threatened their homes.
Several smaller fires continued to send up smoke plumes that could be seen throughout the Reno area.
Among them were blazes in the Truckee River Canyon and in the Pah Rah Mountains just east of Sparks.
A fire on Peavine Mountain just west of Reno blackened 750 acres before being contained Thursday morning.
Air tankers were used to battle the larger blazes.
The fires burned a combination of BLM, Bureau of Indian Affairs and private land.
Lightning touched off wildfires Sunday around Reno, but those fires were out before the latest round of blazes erupted.