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Wildfire in northwest Nevada destroys several homes in Reno

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Fire officials in northwestern Nevada said Wednesday they have partially contained a wildfire near Reno that destroyed several homes and forced hundreds to evacuate theirs.

Residents in a neighborhood southwest of the city were told to evacuate Tuesday as strong winds fueled the 1,500-acre fire. By Wednesday, the blaze had already destroyed several homes and damaged more than a dozen others.

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Firefighters cordoned off streets and took on the blaze, officially named the Pinehaven Fire. It is burning along the Nevada-California border.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve declared a state of emergency Tuesday as the quickly spreading blaze threatened about 500 homes. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak similarly declared an emergency.

Firefighters halted some of the fire's progress on Wednesday, officials said, adding that the blaze is about 5% contained.

So far, there have no reports of deaths or injuries.

Reno Fire Department Battalion Commander Mark Winkelman said the area will gradually reopen to residents as firefighters "mop up." He added that rain in the area on Wednesday is a welcome change, but more strong winds are not.

"We're looking at 40 mph winds in the valleys again today, 70 mph on the ridge tops, so that will be a concern for us," he said. "However, with this rain and the moisture, the relative humidity has come way up, which will cause the fire behavior to tamp down quite a bit."

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