Due to the careless disposal of hot fireplace ashes, a fierce brush fire prompted thousands of people to flee their homes, closed a major highway near the largest city in Nevada, and destroyed twenty-six homes on Thursday. The elderly man who caused this major disaster turned himself in on Friday but he has not been identified publicly. The man expressed deep remorse for the disaster that was caused by his careless mistake.
At this time they are planning to turn the case over to the district attorney’s office. There is a possibility of criminal prosecution. The investigators do not know if they have arrested the man and placed him custody or if his home was among those destroyed. The fire was halted Thursday night just at the outskirts of Reno, which is a metropolitan area of approximately four hundred twenty thousand people.
Within twenty-four hours the firefighters had managed to carve, with the help of bulldozers and hand tools, containment lines around sixty-five percent of the perimeter of the blaze. Most of the people who had to flee have been allowed to return and the main highway was expected to be reopened to traffic by Friday at midnight. There are still at least two thousand people that are still under evacuation. When the fire started about ten thousand people were urged to leave their homes.
There was one person who was found dead in the fire zone. Officials are not immediately clear if the person was a victim of the blaze. The fire scorched approximately three thousand nine hundred acres.