Rain helps douse Genoa fire | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Rain helps douse Genoa fire

GENOA – A lightning strike ignited a blaze Tuesday north of Genoa that consumed 160 acres before an air attack and rain knocked down the flames.

“Mother Nature did its work. It started the fire and now it’s helped to put it out,” said Steve Eisele, deputy fire chief of the East Fork Fire District.

Eisele said by 5 p.m. the fire was far from out, but compared to the initial call at 2:30 p.m. when flames raced up the mountainside, the five or six spot fires that remained seemed harmless.

“This fire was moving at a pretty rapid rate,” Eisele said.

Two people were evacuated from a multimillion-dollar home just underneath the fire.

An unidentified officer on the scene said he had to use his bullhorn to get the couple’s attention.

“They had no idea there was even a fire,” he said.

Eisele said the first concern was to save the structure. Lawn sprinklers were used to keep any close flames at bay.

An air tanker, two helicopters, a bulldozer, 12 engines and five hand crews responded.

Eisele said the hand crews will climb the mountain to mop up any hot spots. Crews will remain on scene overnight in case of any flare-ups.

Eisele said crews were on “heightened awareness” because of the volatile weather front that moved in.

“We were already out on two fires today, so we knew there was the potential,” he said.

A southwest Reno fire that started shortly after 4 p.m. was burning above the Caughlin Ranch area. No structures were immediately threatened by that fire, authorities said. Two helicopters, an air tanker and four hand crews were battling it southwest of McCarran Boulevard in the hills above the Village Green Parkway.

Another fire, also suspected to have been started by lightning, burned about 20 acres north of Reno along U.S. Highway 395 near Bordertown, and a fifth fire was quickly extinguished on the Carson River west of China Springs.

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