Northern Nevada wildfires continue to expand

Updated July 4, 2017 - 5:10 pm

SPARKS — Firefighters on Tuesday battled two wildfires in difficult-to-access areas of northern Nevada where grass and sage provided plenty of fuel.

The fires, which started Monday west of Reno, have expanded due to consistent winds. No injuries have been reported, and no homes or commercial spaces have been damaged.

The blaze that began near Golden Eagle Regional Park in Sparks has grown to about 21 square miles and was 20 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District public information officer Erin Holland said. The fire has burned over the hills and crossed Interstate 80 near Patrick, prompting the temporary closure of the road.

The area near the fire includes several distribution centers. Traffic was diverted throughout the night, Holland said. “It had a tremendous impact on commerce in the area. It’s a heavily trafficked area.”

Helicopters and airplanes have been dumping fire retardant and water on the flames.

Meanwhile, a wildfire in the Wadsworth area reached more than 31 square miles overnight and continues to grow, expanding from Washoe to Churchill counties. Holland said the fire is burning in “extraordinarily” rugged terrain not near populated areas.

“Fortunately, it is kind of heading into the middle of nowhere,” she said. “That’s in our favor.”

Fire officials do not expect the two fires to merge.

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