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200 firefighters battle fire threatening homes north of Reno

RENO — More than 200 firefighters were battling the largest of a series of lightning-sparked fires north of Reno that threatened dozens of homes Friday and prompted some voluntary evacuations.

About 40 structures remained threatened at midday Friday in the Red Rock area north of Reno and east of U.S. Highway 395 north of Stead, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District spokeswoman Erin Holland said.

There have been no reports of any injuries or structures damaged by the fire that has burned about 3 square miles of grass and brush, she said.

Dozens of residents voluntarily evacuated to a Red Cross shelter set up at O’Brien Middle School in Stead after dry lightning started the fire about 7 p.m. Thursday, but a spokesman at the school said Friday morning that they all had left.

Three hundred to 400 homes were threatened at one point Thursday night. But Holland said cooler weather helped crews make progress on the blaze overnight, and air tankers joined in the fight Friday morning, dropping retardant on the flames in the rocky, high desert of the Sierra a few miles east of the California line.

Holland said they remain concerned about winds picking up Friday afternoon with temperatures expected in excess of 100 degrees.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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