No injuries or structural damage has been reported. He's running for the state Assembly as a Libertarian in the November election. He said Friday was his birthday in a post on his Twitter account. But the winds gusting up to 89 miles per hour over the Sierra ridgetops were keeping all firefighting aircraft on the ground. It caused evacuations and major road closures, and Washoe County officials declared a state of emergency Friday morning.
More than 100 homes and ranches are scattered throughout the rural valley bordering Washoe Lake.
Fire District Chief Charles Moore says the entire Washoe Valley remains at risk along the eastern front of the Sierra where winds are gusting in excess of 60 miles per hour.
The governor left a special session of the Legislature in Carson City to get a briefing on the situation. Air support is ready when conditions allow, according to Washoe County.
Fire officials have closed several roads in an area east of Lake Tahoe and warned residents to be alert for possible evacuations as a fast-moving wildfire spreads nearby. The fire delayed the start of the session.
The blaze - now known as the Emerald Fire - at last report at about 5 a.m. had burnded 200 acres.
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Firefighters also snuffed out another fire that destroyed at least one structure and had temporarily closed the Mount Rose Highway connecting Reno to Lake Tahoe.
The fire is burning primarily in the "Cascade" area, just south of Emerald Bay in the Lake Valley Fire Protection District. Almost 10,000 residents were without power at one point.
Evacuations have been ordered for the 500 residents of Spring Creek, Cathedral, the west shore of Fallen Leaf Lake, Cascade Properties and Cascade Lake.
Preliminary evacuation orders given north of of Emerald bay have been cancelled, according to officer Ed Miller of the Meeks Bay Fire Department.
Highway 89 is closed from the Placer County / El Dorado County Line in Tahoma to the Y in the City of South Lake Tahoe.