Firefighters spent Monday evening mopping up a fire in Sun Valley that left two families homeless. It's the second fire in as many days in that area, and the crews were up against some strong winds and very dry conditions.
It took 69 firefighters from four jurisdictions to jump on the fast-moving fire and try to keep it from spreading. Not an easy job, but it could have been worse. Neighbors, helped where they could, realizing that the high winds could spread embers and flames quickly. The blaze destroyed three homes, three outbuildings and two carports.
Robert Conger lives near where the blaze started. "I smelled smoke and it's not uncommon with these winds; and I jumped up and looked out the window I saw it was so close to the house that it had to be in our yard," he told us.
The fire burned more than an acre and put at least five people out of their homes. But no one was injured and fire officials are pleased with the response.
Reno Fire Battalion Chief Todd Keckley said everyone worked well together. "All in all we had a very good combined effort from all departments from the area, responding to contain this quickly. With the winds that we had this could have spread much further than it has, so we're very pleased with the response, other than we're sad that we did lose two structures."
One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation, but was soon back fighting the fire. Meanwhile neighbors watched from two blocks away, as crews eventually got the fire knocked down and under control. Still, they worry about what's to come if things are this dry early in the season. And the experts agree.
"Things are very dry," said Keckley. "Especially with these winds. We have red flag warnings now that are carrying through the night because it's not cooling off at night, the humidity isn't coming up. We have to be very careful with no outside burning whatsoever."
The Red Cross is helping two families that were left homeless by the blaze. The cause of the fire is under investigation.