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Nevada fire fully contained; evacuation orders lifted

January 21, 2012 | 12:34 pm

RenoFire2
A large brush fire that destroyed 29 homes near Reno was fully contained Saturday morning, prompting officials to lift evacuation orders that had been in place since Thursday, authorities said.

The fast-moving blaze started midday Thursday and charred about 3,200 acres in a rural valley between Carson City, Nev., and Reno.

One woman died –- possibly of suffocation –- but the cause of death has not been determined, a Washoe County Sheriff's Office spokesman said.

On Friday investigators said an elderly man they describe as “extremely remorseful” came forward and said he may have sparked the blaze after improperly disposing of fireplace ashes.

Arson investigators will determine if the man, whose name has not been released because the investigation is ongoing, will face charges, said sherrif’s office spokesman Armando Avina.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has declared a state of emergency, making the county eligible for federal disaster funds.

A fire in November destroyed about 30 homes in south Reno.

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-- Ricardo Lopez

Photo: The ruins of a home in Pleasant Valley, Nev., south of Reno, on Friday. Credit: Associated Press/Cathleen Allison

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