RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - During a news conference late this afternoon emergency personnel reported the Washoe Fire containment is at 65 percent this evening. Officials have updated the total acreage burned to 3,177 acres.
Officials also confirmed that US Highway 395 will re-open between 10 p.m. and midnight for commuter through traffic only. The area is still unsafe for residents. Highway 395 extension roads will remain closed from the Mt. Rose Junction to Parker Ranch. The Nevada National Guard remains activated to assist law enforcement in securing the fire-zone perimeter.
Reno Fire Department Chief Mike Hernandez reported that investigators have determined the cause of the fire that began Thursday, January 19 shortly after 12 p.m. "Discarded-fireplace ashes have been determined to be the cause. A citizen contacted officials upon his own accord and was remorseful."
Officials have warned of possible flash flooding in the fire zone areas expecting heavier precipitation between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.. Public works, fire officials, and law enforcement are working together in the fire zone, as well as the Caughlin Ranch area, to mediate potential issues. Residents are asked to call 911 if water is threatening their lives, structures, or creating road obstruction. A non-emergency line is also available at 211.
Concerning the reported fatality, Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley said an affiliation with the fire is still under investigation. A positive identification has not been made at this time.
A representative from NV Energy has reported that power in the fire zone is near complete restoration. If you return to your home and your power is out, please call NV Energy at (775) 834-4100. During the press conference, officials mistakenly referred to Nevada Energy as the agency working on power issues. Please refer all calls regarding power issues to NV Energy at (775) 834-4100.
Washoe County Animal Control is currently caring for several lost or found pets. Residents may view their pets online by visiting www.washoecounty.us/animal . If you see your animal online or need additional information, please call animal control dispatch at (775) 322-3647.
The Animal Shelter will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on Saturday. Animal Control Officers have confirmed 25 locations where animals have been left behind at their residence. The animals are safe and officers will be caring for the animals in place. Livestock and large animals may be picked up at the Livestock Event Center between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Governor Sandoval has reported that FEMA, along with a damage assessment team and the Small Business Administration, will be accessing the damage area on Tuesday, January 24.