Wildfire in Nevada; 4 000 evacuated

2012-01-20 08:30

Reno - More than 4 000 people have been evacuated and hundreds of firefighters remain "in the thick of battle" as a wind-driven wildfire burns across thousands of hectares toward Reno’s southern border, the city’s fire chief Michael Hernandez says.

Hernandez says more than 230 firefighters are battling the blaze that had grown to nearly 5 square miles by 17:00 on Thursday.

Hernandez confirmed homes had been destroyed. He said he didn't know how many but told reporters "the news is not good".

A Reno television station reported at least 10 homes had burned since the fire broke out about 12:45 along US Highway 395 about 16km south of Reno.

Hernandez estimated firefighters had saved about 1 000 structures. He says another 80 to 120 firefighters are expected to arrive on scene before midnight.