More than 10 000 flee US wildfire

2012-01-20 17:44

Reno - Firefighters worked early on Friday to hold the line on a fast-moving brush fire that forced more than 10 000 people in Nevada to flee and destroyed more than 20 homes. Fire officials said one person was dead.

The blaze started shortly after noon on Thursday, and about 2 000 people remained under evacuation orders late on Thursday, Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez said. About 250 firefighters were battling the blaze.

Hernandez said that 20 homes were destroyed, but a full assessment might reveal even more damage. There was one death in the fire area, Hernandez said, but he declined to provide more details, saying an autopsy would be needed to determine the cause.

The blaze was "almost a carbon copy" of a huge wild fire that destroyed 30 homes in southwest Reno in November, the fire chief said. It also forced the evacuation of 10 000 people.

"It's inconceivable that this community has been struck by tragedy again," said Governor Brian Sandoval, who declared a state of emergency on Thursday.

It was not yet known what caused the fire.

Wet weather forecast

Vice President Joe Biden had been speaking at a high school in the area on Thursday. With the smell of smoke in the air, he was about 25 minutes into his address when aides summoned him off stage. He told the audience he would have to move onto a question-and-answer period before officials "made me get out of here".

Hernandez later held a briefing at the high school, but it was evacuated along with surrounding neighbourhoods shortly afterward.

Wet weather was forecast on Friday, and snow was forecast on Friday night. But high winds were expected to continue.

The Reno area had gone a winter-record 56 days without any precipitation until light snow fell earlier this week.

  • bstanley - 2012-01-20 18:17

    What If You Lost it All? I lost my house to careless people (a campfire on a windy day) in the Malibu Corral Fire in 2007. People need to prepare for the financial and insurance-related impacts of calamitous events including fires, hurricanes, explosions, earthquakes, floods, thefts, and other unpredictable emergencies. IN HIND SIGHT I WISH I HAD DONE A HOME INVENTORY! Here’s a link to a DocuHome home inventory and it’s free...

  • Buti - 2012-01-20 21:43

    God punishes whomever he will.Where ever huge sins are committed without repentance, there's a punishment from God.

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