It's been almost two years since the Little Valley Fire destroyed nearly two dozen homes in Washoe Valley, sparked by a prescribed burn that got out of control. This week, those who lost their homes are taking the state to court.

The homeowners are suing the state for damages, saying that the prescribed burn was reckless given the weather conditions.

"We contend that the state's actions were so negligent and so reckless that it constitutes an actual taking of our clients' property," attorney for the homeowners David Houston said.

Nevada Division of Forestry crews conducted a prescribed burn in Washoe Valley Oct. 4-7, 2016. On October 14, embers in the burn area reignited and spread, turning into the Little Valley Fire. Investigators later cited "exceptionally high winds," which pushed the fire down into a subdivision along Franktown Road.

All residents were able to safely evacuate, but the fire destroyed 23 homes and 17 outbuildings.

Now, Houston said homeowners are suing for damages because the state is trying to claim a cap on their liability. The state is protected in some cases by an immunity clause in state law, which would limit the amount of money the state can pay out to the homeowners.

"The only thing that we've asked for since the beginning is that our clients be treated fairly," Houston said. "We are asking that they receive compensation equal to their loss."

The Nevada Division of Forestry declined to comment, saying they cannot address ongoing litigation.

Pre-trial hearings started Monday, and jury selection is set for Tuesday. Stay with Channel 2 News for updates.


Original Story: Jury selection begins Tuesday in the Little Valley fire civil trial. 

That happened back in October 2016 in Washoe Valley.

A controlled burn escaped its lines and turned into a wildfire destroying 23 homes and 17 outbuildings. Homeowners are seeking compensation. 

The Nevada Division of Forestry, responsible for the controlled burn, and the University of Nevada, Reno face lawsuits.

A final report revealed high winds - and lack of staff led up to the fire's escape.