Woodchuck Fire Updates

Sep 18, 2017

Credit Washoe County

9:30 p.m. Monday update:

Here's the latest information from a City of Reno press release sent at 8:57 p.m.:

The Reno Fire Department (RFD) responded today at 1:30 p.m. to a fire in west Reno on the west side of Plateau Road. Forward progress on the 62-acre Woodchuck Fire (#WoodchuckFire) was stopped at approximately 5:30 p.m. No residential structures were lost, and no damage to residential structures occurred. There were no injuries to people or to any animals.

The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) also responded and assisted with unified command suppression efforts. The cause of the fire is still unknown and is currently under investigation.

“This was a remarkable coordination of efforts under very challenging circumstances,” Reno Fire Chief Dave Cochran said. “The fuel loads, terrain and winds combined for very dangerous conditions.”

Fire officials from RFD and TMFPD will continue to monitor conditions throughout the night. Crews will be working through the night and into tomorrow, so residents are asked to please use caution and yield to emergency crews. All units with the exception of seven engines have been released. Three hand crews will remain overnight and in the morning for mop up and patrol duties.

Roads that will remain closed tonight include Plateau Road from Mayberry Drive to Woodchuck Circle, until public safety officials deem the area safe for residents.

Other facts and figures about the Woodchuck Fire are listed below:

•  Evacuations were recommended only. Residents who evacuated went to Billinghurst Middle School in Reno. Evacuations were scheduled to be lifted at 8 p.m. this evening.

• The large animal evacuation center was at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Equestrian Center on Valley Road.

•  Dorostkar Park and Mayberry Park are currently being used as fire staging areas.

• Four divisions, 30 pieces of equipment and two helicopters were used in the firefighting efforts.

• The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office assisted with evacuations, and the Reno Police Department assisted with traffic control on McCarran Boulevard.

•  The Salvation Army donated 200 meals to firefighters and volunteers.  

7:05 p.m. Monday update:

Earlier in the afternoon, we reported that additional streets were added to the list for recommended evacuations. They include Aspen Glen Drive and Eagle Creek Court off of Mayberry Drive. 

Official are reporting that no homes have been lost, but two construction trailers were burned. 

Winds made fighting this fire more difficult, but forward progression has stopped and officials expect to lift evacuations Monday night. 

3:25 p.m. Monday update:

Officials say what's being called the Woodchuck Fire has now burned between 25 and 30 acres. 

3 p.m. Monday update:

Evacuations are recommended for residents south and southeast of Woodchuck Circle near the Hunter Creek Trail in West Reno, due to a wildfire in the area. Officials are asking residents to immediately head to Billinghurst Middle School. Large animals are being evacuated to the University of Nevada, Reno Equestrian Facility on Valley Road.

Plateau Road is closed between Caughlin Parkway and Mayberry Drive.

Fire crews from several agencies are en route, including Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and the Bureau of Land Management. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office and Reno Police Department are assisting in evacuations.

The National Weather Service says a red flag warning is in place through the evening, with strong, gusty winds.

Authorities have yet to announce the size or cause of the blaze.