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Fire near Reno may have been caused by power lines

November 19, 2011 |  1:32 pm

Reno fire

Fire officials in Reno said Saturday they believe arcing power lines were the likely cause of the wind-driven Caughlin fire that destroyed 15 homes and damaged at least 40 others.

The 2,000-acre fire was 65% contained Saturday afternoon, and officials expect to continue making progress into Sunday, said Sharon Spangler, a spokeswoman for the City of Reno.

Officials began allowing the nearly 10,000 people who were evacuated to return to their homes.

PHOTOS: Caughlin fire

The Caughlin fire erupted just after midnight Friday, as heavy winds sent flames surging toward densely populated hillside neighborhoods.

Though no official cause for the blaze has been determined, it appears power lines are to blame. Investigators have ruled out that partying teenagers or a homeless campfire sparked the fire, Spangler said.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo: Capt. Kenny DeWitt of the Reno Fire Department sprays water on a burned home. Credit: Max Whittake / Reuters

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