Crews beat back Reno fire

RENO -- Most residents of a southwest Reno neighborhood were allowed to return to their homes by sundown Monday after they were forced to evacuate by a fast-moving wildfire that threatened hundreds of homes.

Reno Fire Department spokesman Steve Frady said the smoky blaze that broke out around 2:30 p.m. was fanned by winds gusting to 30 mph and had burned at least 120 acres of brush and some timber.

More than 180 firefighters were battling the fire, aided by three air tankers and a helicopter. More crews were en route. Homes in the area range in value from $600,000 to millions of dollars.

Soon after the fire erupted, Frady had been quoted as saying, "The fire has burned up to the backyards of some homes."

But by sundown, firefighters and residents were relieved that the fire was burning away from homes. Evacuation orders were lifted by 7 p.m. except for residents whose homes were closest to the fire line.

"Firefighters did a tremendous job in holding the fire from the residences," Frady said, adding that in some cases firefighters faced 20-foot flames.

Mike Trudell, manager of the Caughlin Ranch Homeowners Association, said the fire might have started near a construction site, but he didn't know exactly where or what the cause might have been.