Reno wildfire destroys multiple homes; hundreds evacuated as Gov. Sisolak declares state of emergency

November 18, 2020 

A fast-moving wildfire driven by gusting winds destroyed several homes in Reno, Nev., and forced hundreds to evacuate on Tuesday, prompting Gov. Steve Sisolak to declare a state of emergency.

The Pinehaven Fire burned an estimated 1,200 acres and threatened as many as 500 homes in southwest Reno before forward progress was stopped, Reno Fire Chief David Cochran said. He said "multiple" homes had been lost but couldn't say how many pending a daylight assessment on Wednesday.

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The Reno Fire Department posted photos of firefighters battling the blaze, showing at least two homes engulfed in flames. Meanwhile, the Reno Gazette Journal reported that one of its photographers had seen at least five homes burn.

A firefighter helps to battle a blaze that engulfed a home in a Reno neighborhood on Tuesday.

A firefighter helps to battle a blaze that engulfed a home in a Reno neighborhood on Tuesday.
(Reno Firefighters)

Cochran said teams from fire departments in Reno and California responded to help battle the fire overnight in what he described as "an extremely dynamic situation."

"Precipitation is expected, but we're not relying on that," he said. "We are working to protect homes to the extent that we can."

There were no immediate reports of injuries, and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

A wildfire destroyed several homes in a Reno neighborhood on Tuesday.

A wildfire destroyed several homes in a Reno neighborhood on Tuesday.
(Reno Firefighters)

Sisolak declared a state of emergency to ensure the necessary resources are available for the affected communities.

"I want to thank all the first responders, local government agencies and nonprofit entities who have already stepped up to assist the community during this emergency event," Sisolak said. "This truly reflects Nevada's Battle Born spirit and our commitment to caring for one another in times of need."

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve also signed a local emergency declaration and urged residents to evacuate.

Authorities cut power to about 7,000 customers as a precaution, and several roads were closed. School buildings in the area were closed and online classes were canceled Wednesday, KOLO-TV reported.

Reno wildfire destroys multiple homes; hundreds evacuated as Gov. Sisolak declares state of emergency - RENO FIRE3

Reno Fire Chief David Cochran said "multiple" homes had been lost but couldn't say how many pending a daylight assessment on Wednesday.
(Reno Firefighters)

The Pinehaven Fire was one of four fires threatening the area.

Crews north of Reno battled a brush fire that broke out along the California-Nevada line and forced the closure of State Highway 70 near Vinton and Chilcoot, Calif. Another fire about 100 miles to the south exploded in size after breaking out around noon Tuesday in California's Mono County near the Nevada border, forcing evacuations in Walker and other nearby towns.

Firefighters had stopped a smaller fire that broke out near Spanish Springs, the Gazette Journal reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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