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Little Valley Fire Burning Through Washoe Valley, Estimated 1,000 Acres

The Little Valley Fire, which started around 2 a.m., is burning quickly through Washoe Valley. Officials have closed I-580 and US-395 through Washoe Valley as north as Mount Rose Highway, and are urging residents to be on standby in case of quickly changing conditions.

Public Information Officer for the Washoe County Sheriff's Office Bob Harmon says officials are working to figure out total size at this point, but as of now, there is no containment.

“This is a fast moving fire. At this time, it’s out of control. Acreage is unknown," Harmon says. "It’s got to be estimated at least 1,000 acres at this point, but we don’t really have an exact acreage because of the nature of it.”

Harmon points to strong winds that have been hindering firefighting efforts all morning as one of the main challenges.

“Winds have been an issue since the beginning of the fire. Obviously this is a heavy wind day. It was projected and winds are very strong out in the valley at this time," he says. "Forecasts are looking at the possibility of winds dying down as we get to mid-morning and we’re hoping that will give us an advantage and allow us to bring in the air support.”

Depoali Middle School has been designated as an evacuation site for those in the Washoe Valley area. Precautionary recommended evacuations are in place for the Washoe Valley, Franktown, East Washoe Valley, Montreux and Galena areas.

The Washoe County School District has closed Pleasant Valley Elementary School today.

Harmon says small pets are allowed at the middle school and large animals and livestock can be taken to the Reno Livestock Center.

We'll keep you updated as soon as we get more details.

Noah Glick is a former content director and host at KUNR Public Radio.