Firefighters were battling erratic winds Friday afternoon while trying to get a protective line around the 200-acre Carter Springs fire south of Gardnerville.
Reports of the fast-moving blaze on the east side of Highway 395 first came in at about 12:25 p.m. and immediately threatened at least five structures within a quarter mile or less of the flames.
Burning in pinon-juniper woodlands, the fire was reportedly heading south toward Double Springs Flat. No estimate of containment was available Friday afternoon, although rescue personnel had been evacuating homes in the area with the assistance of Douglas County Search and Rescue and the Sheriff's Office.
The hills above Pine View Estates to the north were burned last summer in the 4,180-acre Ray May Fire, which started Aug. 16, 2011.
County Manager Steve Mokrohisky said Friday afternoon that East Fork Fire officials were working to set up a phone line for concerned residents. In the meantime, he said, residents should call East Fork at 782-9040 with any questions.
By 4 p.m. Friday, nine air tankers, one helicopter, 10 engines, four hand crews and seven command staff were battling the blaze - a total 150 personnel.
At least one firefighter was treated for a muscular/skeletal injury.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen estimated it would take several hours for the highway to reopen.
Motorists heading north along Highway 395 are still being diverted at Holbrook Junction east to Yerington. Those traveling to Carson Valley were advised to travel over Monitor Pass to Markleeville and then to Highway 88 north to Minden.
Southbound traffic is still being stopped at Riverview Drive in Gardnerville. Motorists were advised to avoid the intersection by turning south onto Highway 88 from Highway 395 in Minden and then turning to Markleeville and over Monitor Pass to Topaz Lake.
Douglas County School District Superintendent Lisa Noonan said Friday afternoon that students from Douglas High, Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School and Minden Elementary who live in Topaz Ranch Estates and nearby areas were bused through Carson City and Yerington to reach their homes. Those students residing in Pine View Estates and other locations further north stayed at their respective, and parents were notified to pick them up.
"That's about a hundred miles; it will take a while for them to get home," she said. "We were hoping we could avoid it and waited until the last minute for the road to reopen. But we had to send those buses through Yerington. Every family was hand-called by the schools, and some parents just wanted to come pick up their kids themselves."
Parents with questions can call their children's school or the district office at 775-782-5134.
NV Energy crews responded to impacted power lines in the fire area. Other agencies on scene included Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and the Nevada Division of Forestry.