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Storm hits Sierra with snow, wind

RENO — A spring storm brought blizzardlike conditions and driving controls to the Sierra, and snow blanketed a wildfire north of Carson City that threatened a handful of homes.

Chains were mandatory early Wednesday on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit and on U.S. 50 across Echo Summit. Controls on the two trans-Sierra highways and other mountain highways were removed as temperatures warmed.

Despite partial clearing Wednesday, forecasters were calling for unsettled weather with a chance of snow into the weekend.

The storm, accompanied by powerful wind gusts, created blizzardlike conditions in the mountains.

In the valleys of western Nevada, winds up to 50 mph fanned a wild-land fire at the south end of Washoe Valley, sending flames within 100 feet of some rural ranch homes north of Carson City.

The fire began about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and blackened about 100 acres east of Washoe Lake before heavy snow began falling a couple of hours later.

The flakes blanketed the fire, and by nightfall, the once-threatening blaze was left to a single crew to patrol overnight.

The fire was sparked by embers from a permitted burn by the Deer Run Ranch Bed and Breakfast, Reno fire spokesman Steve Frady said.

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