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19 Homes Burn, Emergency Declared In Nevada, Between Reno And Carson City

Ky Plaskon / Submitted

Residents of Washoe Valley were evacuated to a nearby evacuation center after a wind-whipped fire destroyed at least 19 homes.

Ky Plaskon / Submitted

5:20 p.m. A wildfire between Reno and Carson City continues to burn out of control.

At least 19 homes in Washoe Valley have been destroyed and hundreds of people evacuated due to the Little Valley Fire. Larry Barber got the call around 5:30 this morning.

"They just basically said, get out,  and we opened the windows up- and saw the glow in the sky.  And we were pretty prepared. So we just threw everything in the two cars and here we are," says Barber. 

Fire officials are warning the entire valley along the eastern front of the Sierra remains at risk. The fire was pushed by winds gusting at over 60 miles per hour. Those winds have started to die down.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has declared a state of emergency.

- Capital Public Radio Staff

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(AP) -- 4:55 p.m. One of the 19 homes destroyed in a wildfire in northern Nevada belonged to brothel owner Dennis Hof.

Hof told the Reno Gazette-Journal he wasn't there at the time but neighbors phoned to tell him his house was burning in the forest south of Reno. He posted photos of it reduced to rubble on his Twitter account Friday afternoon.

Hof owns the Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel east of Carson City. He's running for the state Assembly as a Libertarian in the November election.

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(AP) -- 2 p.m. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has declared a state of emergency as hundreds of firefighters battle a wind-whipped blaze that has destroyed 19 homes in the Washoe Valley between Reno and Carson City and led to evacuations

Truckee Meadows Fire Battalion Chief Alex Kukulus said the fire that broke out early Friday is threatening dozens of other homes west of U.S. Highway 395.

More firefighters are on the way - some from as far away as the San Francisco Bay Area.

No injuries have been reported.

Fire Chief Charles Moore says the cause of the blaze is under investigation after a controlled burn was conducted in the area earlier this week.

Kukulus says some rain has helped, and winds that were gusting at more than 50 mph have died down a bit but were expected to pick up again later in the day.

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11:55 a.m. More than a dozen homes in Nevada have been destroyed by a wind-whipped wildfire that is burning out of control in the Washoe Valley between Reno and Carson City.

The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District says firefighters on the scene estimate as many as 18 homes have burned. Dozens more remain threatened.

Gov. Brian Sandoval left a special session of the Legislature to get a briefing on the situation.

Fire District Chief Charles Moore says the entire Washoe Valley remains at risk along the eastern front of the Sierra where winds are gusting in excess of 60 mph.

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11:40 a.m. Washoe County has declared a state of emergency as hundreds of firefighters battle a wildland blaze south of Reno that has destroyed multiple homes in the Washoe Valley.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore says that the entire Washoe Valley remains at risk.

The fire has charred nearly 2 square miles. There's no immediate estimate on the number of homes lost. But the Reno Fire Department released photographs that show at least two have been destroyed.

Assistant Washoe County Manager Kevin Schiller declared a state of emergency on behalf of the board of county commissioners at about 11:15 a.m.

Winds gusting up to 76 mph have kept all firefighting aircraft on the ground.

But Moore says air support is ready to join the battle as soon as conditions improve. He says 125 fire engines are already on the scene or on their way.

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11:20 a.m. The storm packing powerful winds that are fueling dangerous wildfires in the Sierra and near Reno has started to drop some rain on the flames at Lake Tahoe. But hundreds of homes remain under evacuation orders.

No deaths or injuries have been reported. But the Reno Fire Department has released photographs that show at least two homes have been destroyed in the Washoe Valley between Reno and Carson City, where a fire continues to burn out of control across nearly 2 square miles.

The Eldorado County sheriff has ordered 500 homes evacuated on the south end of Lake Tahoe. That fire has burned about 200 acres and forced the closure of California Highway 89 between Camp Richardson and Meeks Bay. California Fire officials say that blaze, dubbed the "Emerald Fire," is now estimated to be 25 percent contained.

Officials at the Sierra Interagency Fire Dispatch Center say there's zero containment on the fire in Washoe Valley that's being fueled by winds gusting up to 76 mph. But a number of roads that had been closed are now open, including U.S. Interstate 580 and U.S. Highway 395.

A third fire along the Mount Rose Highway connecting Reno to Lake Tahoe has destroyed at least one structure. But most evacuation orders have been lifted there.

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10:15 a.m. Hundreds of firefighters along the California-Nevada line are battling dangerous wind-whipped wildfires at Lake Tahoe and in the valley between Carson City and Reno.

A bigger fire that broke out about 2 a.m. has grown to nearly 2 square miles in the Washoe Valley south of Reno. That fire is being fueled by winds gusting up to 76 mph. It also has forced evacuations, closed roads and schools and left thousands without power.

It also has delayed the start of a special session at the Nevada Legislature where lawmakers are considering raising the hotel tax in Las Vegas to help fund construction of a football stadium intended to lure the NFL's Raiders to the city.

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9:40 a.m. Winds gusting up to 76 mph are fueling a 750-acre wildfire that's burning out of control south of Reno, forcing evacuations, closing roads and schools and leaving thousands without power.

There were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries from the 1.2-square mile fire. Dozens of homes are threatened and at least one structure has burned in an area along the Mount Rose Highway connecting Reno to Lake Tahoe, where another fire also has forced evacuations.

More than 5,000 people are without power, mostly in southwest Reno.

The biggest fire that broke out in the Washoe Valley at about 2:20 a.m. Friday has closed a 15-mile stretch of U.S. Interstate 580 and U.S. Highway 395 between Reno and Carson City.

Fire officials say they're hopeful the storm will bring some rain to help douse the flames. But the winds gusting up to 89 mph over the Sierra ridgetops are keeping all firefighting aircraft on the ground.

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8:30 a.m. Two wildfires burning near Lake Tahoe on Friday morning prompted officials to order mandatory evacuations for about 500 homes in California and close a number of area roads and schools in Nevada.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said a fire broke out early Friday near Cascade Lake and Emerald Bay around 1:30 a.m. It had charred about 200 acres by 8 a.m., but had not damaged any structures or caused any injuries.

Fire officials issued an evacuation order for 500 homes near South Lake Tahoe in the area of Spring Creek, Cathedral, the west shore of Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Properties and Cascade Lake. Voluntary evacuations were recommended for 500 more homes in the area.

Highway 89 was closed from Camp Richardson to Meeks Bay, the station reported.

Residents east of Lake Tahoe, across the Nevada state line, were warned to be ready for evacuations Friday because of a separate fast-moving wildfire nearby.