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Crews contain Reno fire that claimed 29 homes
“There was fire in front of me, fire beside me, fire behind me. It was everywhere,” said Connie Cryer, who was relieved to learn Friday that her home survived the flames. “I don’t know how more didn’t burn up. It was terrible, all the wind and the smoke.”
She had seen wildfires before, but nothing on this scale.
State Forester Pete Anderson said he has not seen such hazardous fire conditions in winter in his 43 years in Nevada. Reno had no precipitation in December. The last time that happened was 1883.
An inch of snow Monday ended the longest recorded dry spell in Reno history, a 56-day stretch that prompted Anderson to issue an unusual warning about wildfire threats in a fire season that has stretched well past the usual endpoint of November.
Kit Bailey, U.S. Forest Service fire chief at nearby Lake Tahoe, said conditions are so dry that even a forecast calling for rain and snow might not take the Reno-Tahoe area out of fire danger.
“The scary thing is a few days of drying after this storm cycle and we could be back into fire season again,” he said.
Associated Press writers Scott Sonner in Reno, Michelle Rindels in Las Vegas and Sandra Chereb in Carson City contributed to this report.
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