A fire broke out in Southwest Reno today (now called the Caughlin Fire) at around 12:30am. It has already burned over 450 acres of Toiyabe National Forest, destroyed 20 homes, is being blamed for one death (cardiac arrest), and is moving east fast. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has declared a state of emergency. This fire is currently 0% contained. The cause of this fire is unknown at this time.
“Declaring a state of emergency ensures that every resource from the local, state and federal level is available to assist. I have asked the National Guard to be on alert and state resources are supporting Reno and Washoe County officials.” -Brian Sandoval
As of 2:45am at least 1,000 people were without power. 9,000 people have been voluntarily evacuated.
Washoe County School District has closed nearly all Washoe County schools in response to the fire today.
The fire has recently broken up into two large pieces. One piece in Manzanita-Skyline area the other in the Windy Hill area.
The fire is moving extremely fast due to 25-40 mph winds that are gusting up to 65-70 mph and literally causing hell. The rugged terrain isn’t helping either.
“We’ve got some very deep ravines. The fire is running down those canyons that we can’t get to. It’s a tough day for the fire department. It’s a tough day for responders.” – Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez
A wind sensor near Galena recored sustained winds of 38 mph, gust of 67 mph at 6am. Temperatures are forecasted to drop today as a weak cold front rolls through the area. Humidity is forecasted to be around 25%.
The worst part of this fire is in the appropriately named Windy Hill area of Southwest Reno. Because of these winds there is no air support to help quell this fire today.
“Conditions are still dry even thought it’s cold. The fire is going to carry just like it would in June.” – Mark Regan, Sierra Fire Protection Distric
NOAA.gov has issued a High Wind Warning for Reno Today:
* TIMING: WINDS WILL PERSIST THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON. STRONG AND POTENTIALLY DAMAGING DOWNSLOPE WINDS WILL OCCUR THIS MORNING. * WINDS: SOUTHWEST 20 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS 55 TO 65 MPH. DOWNSLOPE GUSTS 70 TO 80 MPH WILL AFFECT THE FOOTHILLS AND WIND PRONE AREAS ALONG HIGHWAY 395.
It’s unclear how much more destruction this fire has the potential to cause today, but it appears to be somewhat dire for the southwest Reno area.
“This fire is not going to be out any time soon,” Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez