Washoe fire caused by fireplace ashes
The 3,100-acre Washoe Drive fire that claimed 29 homes appeared to be started by improperly disposed fireplace ashes.
During a press conference at 5 p.m. officials said an elderly man came forward and told them his ashes started the blaze.
High winds on Thursday afternoon caught the fire and sent it raging through neighborhoods in northern Washoe Valley and Pleasant Valley.
Highway 395 is expected to be closed until sometime between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. tonight.
Carson Valley saw what could have happened if firefighters hadn’t stopped a fire with a similar cause in Indian Hills on Thursday, when high winds blew over a container with hot ashes in it, sending burning embers down the street.
A fence and wooden swingset succumbed to the fire, according to East Fork Capt. Terry Taylor. Brands also set the lawn of another home on fire.
“It spotted along a full city block with just wind-driven brands,” Taylor said.
He recommended residents who have wood-burning stoves and fireplaces use a metal can with a tight-fitting lid for ashes.
On Wednesday a fire was reported at 11:27 a.m. near Bowers Road and Out R Way in Fish Springs.
The quarter-acre fire was quickly extinguished with the help of the homeowner.