Nevada fire 100% contained; 29 homes destroyed

The wildfire erupted on Thursday, causing about 10,000 people to evacuate.

Story highlights

  • The wildfire began burning Thursday
  • Firefighters fully contain it today
  • The fire destroyed nearly 30 homes
  • Investigators are looking at a possible fatality
Nevada firefighters fully contained Saturday a wildfire near Reno that had burned 3,177 acres and destroyed 29 homes, authorities said.
Another five homes and seven outbuildings were damaged, Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley said.
Firefighters were mopping up around structures Saturday and patrolling the area, officials said.
Authorities were investigating a possible fatality due to the blaze in North Washoe Valley, though it has not been determined whether the death was fire-related.
The fire prompted the evacuation of about 10,000 people, closed a major highway and led the governor to declare a state of emergency. It began burning around 1 p.m. Thursday and was finally 100% contained at 6 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.
Investigators believe they have pinpointed the cause of the fire. A man came forward Friday admitting to improperly discarding fireplace ashes, Haley said.
The man, who was not identified, "is extremely remorseful," Haley said. The case has been turned over to the district attorney's office, which will determine whether criminal charges will be filed.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, who has declared a state of emergency, expressed his condolences to those who had lost homes in the fire and lauded the multi-agency effort to begin the recovery and rebuilding process.
"The Nevada family has come together," he said.
A team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will arrive Tuesday to conduct a damage assessment, Sandoval said.
Washoe County Manager Katy Simon predicted losses will be in the millions of dollars.
"This is a devastating fire," she said, adding, "We have seen great tragedy in the past 30 hours."