Little Valley Fire burns structures northwest of Carson City, NV

In the hours before the fire was reported, wind gusting at 87 mph was recorded at a nearby weather station.

(UPDATED at 11:35 p.m. PDT October 14, 2016)

At 9:30 p.m. Washoe County updated the number of structures burned — 22 homes and 17 outbuildings. The fire has blackened 3,455 acres.

Map Little Valley Fire
Map of the Little Valley Fire at 9:23 p.m. PDT October 14, 2016.

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(UPDATED at 3:24 p.m. PDT October 14, 2016)

Washoe County reported at 2:45 p.m. Friday about the Little Valley Fire:

Everyone who lives on the east side of Washoe Lake or the east side of I-580 can return home.

Evacuations for residents of the Galena, Montreaux, Joy Lake Rorad, and St. James neighborhoods can return home but need to be prepared to evacuate throughout the weekend if need be.

The west side of Washoe Lake from Bowers exit to the bottom of Franktown Rd. remains evacuated. Several local hotels are offering discounted room rates for those displaced by Friday’s fires.

A weather station near the fire recorded 0.10 of rain after 11 a.m. today. The relative humidity has increased to 83 percent but the wind is still strong, 14 mph gusting to 34 mph. Radar showed light rain in the area at 3:24 p.m. on Friday.

@TMFPD is the Twitter account for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

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(Originally published at 1:16 p.m. PDT October 14, 2016)

Dozens of structures have burned in the Little Valley Fire 6 miles northwest of Carson City, Nevada and 17 miles south of Reno. It was reported at 2 a.m. PDT on Friday, Oct, 16, 2016. At 12:15 p.m. Washoe County reported that firefighters are estimating 2,000 acres, 18 homes, seven outbuildings, and seven barns have burned in the fire west of Washoe Lake.

Authorities have not released a cause for the fire but the Reno Gazette-Journal raised the possibility that it might have been associated with a prescribed fire:

As part of the investigation on the cause of the fire, the forestry division will look into any potential links from a prescribed burn that was held prior to the fire, said Jenny Ramella, Nevada Forestry Division spokeswoman. Ramella stressed that the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

We don’t yet have a good map showing the exact location of the wildfire, but the Nevada Division of Forestry covered on their Facebook page the progress of the “Little Valley Burn”, a prescribed fire, that was ignited between October 4 and 7. On October 12 the NDF reported they had completed 208 acres. The location appears to have been west of where the wildfire is burning now.

planned Little Valley Burn
The planned location of the Little Valley Burn, designated by the black borders inside the circle, was in the Whittell Forest and Wildlife Area.

The map below shows where the wildfire could POTENTIALLY burn, according to Regional Emergency Management.

Little Valley Fire map
This map distributed by Regional Emergency Management shows what they call the “Potential Little Valley Fire”. The red area is apparently where they figure the wildfire could POTENTIALLY burn, and does not show an area already burned.

The Little Valley weather station not far from the fire recorded extreme weather overnight. Around 2 a.m. when the fire was reported, the sustained wind was out of the west at 16 to 18 mph with gusts above 55 mph. At about midnight there was one gust of 87 mph. At 2 a.m. the temperature was 52 degrees with a relative humidity of about 31 percent. Since then the wind speed has dropped to 8 mph at noon today with gusts of 32 to 50 mph through the morning. At 1 p.m. PDT radar shows rain east of the fire area which could move in and slow the spread. The weather forecast for the fire area includes an 80 to 100 percent chance of a quarter inch of rain until 5 p.m. on Friday.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Steve and Allen.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills. Google+

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