Fire near Reno burns homes, cuts short Biden speech

Stoked by 80-mph winds, a brush fire surged through a valley between Reno and Carson City on Thursday, charring at least three homes, threatening more and forcing Vice President Joe Biden to truncate his visit to a local high school.

Flames chewed through sage brush and pine as they headed north toward the more populous Reno area, where a November wildfire sparked by arcing power lines destroyed about 30 homes.

“We are battling Mother Nature,” Armando Avina, a Washoe County sheriff’s deputy, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “There is no sign of moisture. If the winds don’t cooperate and firefighters have to battle this fire in this wind, the damages could be very substantial.”

Smoke choked the air in a neighborhood called Pleasant Valley as deputies went door to door and begged residents to leave their homes. Authorities had already emptied out a nearby elementary school as flames up to 40 feet tall approached.

The tempestuous weather repeatedly hampered Biden’s visit to the area in advance of the state’s Democratic presidential caucuses this weekend, the Gazette-Journal said. His speech, which was scheduled for 11:30 a.m., was pushed back when fierce gusts forced Air Force Two to land in Fallon, Nev., about 60 miles east of Reno.

By about 1:45 p.m., when Biden began speaking, the smell of smoke wafted through Galena High School, the paper said. The vice president was soon told to wrap up his remarks, as fire officials needed to use the school gym as a command center.

ALSO:

Seattle slides into second day of icy winter mayhem

Sorrow for the lost 'Poe Toaster': No cognac, roses left at grave

Alexander Graham Bell phone instructions (to his parents) go for $92,000

-- Ashley Powers in Las Vegas

Twitter.com/ashleypowers

 
Comments  ()

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement
Your Hosts

Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


In Case You Missed It...

Video



Archives