More homes burn in wildfire near Reno
The number of homes damaged or destroyed by a wildfire near Reno more than doubled Saturday to at least 72 as firefighters surveyed remote areas in their continued drive to fight the blaze, which was 80% contained at nightfall.
Officials believe arcing power lines are the likely cause of the 2,000-acre Caughlin fire. Fire officials expect to have it fully contained by the middle of next week, according to a statement from the Reno Fire Department.
Officials began allowing the nearly 10,000 people who were evacuated to return to their homes at noon Saturday. The fire erupted Friday just after midnight, when heavy winds sent flames surging toward densely populated hillside neighborhoods. More than 400 firefighters battled the blaze, which sent up towering flames that could be seen from Reno’s downtown casinos.
A 74-year-old man fleeing his home died of heart failure, and more than a dozen people were treated for heart and respiratory problems. As winds died down and cold temperatures descended on the region, firefighters were able to stop the fire’s march.
-- Stephen Ceasar
Photo: A home burns on Star Meadows Loop in the Caughlin fire near Reno on Friday. Credit: David B. Parker / Reno Gazette-Journal