Fire crews were headed home or being
reassigned on Friday as a wildland blaze south of Reno neared
containment just two days after it seemed unstoppable.
The blaze, which burned 2,693 acres and six homes on Wednesday
as it was driven by 40 mph winds, was 85 percent contained. At its
height, it was attacked by 555 firefighters and an aerial assault
from 14 tankers and seven helicopters.
The tankers and helicopters were gone on Thursday, as were many
of the crews.
Washoe County officials have declared a state of emergency for
the area, making the county eligible for federal and state funding
to help people who suffered losses as a result of the fire.
Reno Fire Marshal Larry Farr said the fire was sparked by a man
who was target shooting when a bullet ricocheted off a rock. He
said the man was in an area where it was legal to shoot. While
criminal charges were unlikely, the man could face civil suits for
damages from people whose homes were lost or damaged.
In addition to the six homes that burned, Farr said at least
seven outbuildings and 22 vehicles were destroyed.
Local, state and federal officials said they would consider
tightening restrictions on target shooting in light of the
prolonged drought, which has turned vegetation brown in this desert
As crews continued to mop up the Andrew fire on Friday, last
month's Waterfall fire in Carson City was declared a federal
disaster area, freeing government money to supplement state and
local funds in repairing or replacing facilities that were lost or
It also makes money available through the Federal Emergency
Management Agency for hazard mitigation in the burn area west of
That fire blackened 8,700 acres and burned 15 homes. It's
expected to cost $6.4 million to rehabilitate the huge area.