More than 10,000 people evacuated from Washoe Drive fire
January 19, 2012
A 3,000-acre wildfire that has consumed several homes in Galena, Washoe and Pleasant valleys has forced the evacuation of more than 10,000 people in theand closed Highway 395.
The fire, which started about 12:42 p.m., is moving north, according to fire officials. A photographer for Channel 2 News, former Nevada Appeal photographer Brad Horne, said on the broadcast he saw at least seven homes on the east side of Highway 395.
There are nearly 360 fire and emergency personnel on the ground,15 structural engines, 13 brush personnel, seven water tenders, three hand crews which include 20 members, four crews inbound. Responders have requested fire agencies in California for more assistance expecting eight more strike teams to come in. Over 50 law enforcement units are assisting with evacuations. Washoe County Animal Control Officers are leading evacuation efforts involving animals. Help has been sought from the Sierra Front Interagency Cooperators, including the East Fork Fire District in Douglas County.
Galena High School is being evacuated at this time as is the Rolling Hills subdivision behind Galena High School. Additional evacuation points include Galena Country Estates, GalenaForest Estates, Montreaux, Fawn Lane, Joy Lake Road, Pleasant Valley, Saint James Place, Andrew Lane, Old Washoe, Callahan Ranch Road and the north end of East Lake Road, and Mt. Rose Highway up to the Department of Transportation station.
A list of the areas affected by evacuations includes:
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Callahan Ranch Road
Eastlake Road (north end)
Galena Country Estates
Mount Rose area from Killington to Thomas Creek
Old Washoe City
St. James Village
This area may increase as the fire grows.
For evacuation information inside the 775 area code call 211. Family and friends outside the 775 area code should call (775)337-5800.
The Reno Livestock Events Events Center is the site for all evacuated animals. Citizens willing to volunteer their vehicles and trailers to evacuate animals can meet at Lowe’s on Kietzke and McCarran.
Washoe County Manager Katy Simon has declared an official emergency for Washoe County as a wildfire burns in the northern Washoe Valley area.
A swift moving brush fire, fueled by heavy fuels and high winds, began burning in North Washoe Valley, prompting evacuation requests in the old Washoe City area, Pleasant Valley, and Saint James Village areas.
At 3 p.m., in response to the severity of the fire, County Manager Katy Simon declared a state of emergency for Washoe County. The declaration allows the county to apply for reimbursement for costs related to the fire and request additional resources as appropriate.
The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living with Fire program is encouraging residents in the area of the Washoe Drive to take extra precautions to prepare their families and homes in case they are asked to evacuate their neighborhoods.
Residents who have already been asked to evacuate can also get quick information at http://www.livingwithfire.info and clicking on the “during the fire” tab at the top right on the home page.
Ed Smith of the Living With Fire program says its important that residents leave when firefighters or law enforcement ask them to.
“That’s No. 1,” Smith said. “If they tell you to leave – leave.”
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said he and his staff are monitoring the fire.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the Washoe Drive fire,” he said. “My staff and I will continue to work with the community to respond to any needs that arise. I would also like to thank the first responders who once again are in harm’s way and urge everyone evacuating to keep safety a top priority.”