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Reno, Nev., Wildfire Fully Contained

August 14, 2006

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ Officials declared victory Sunday over a wildfire that just missed two upscale subdivisions in the Sierra foothills west of Reno.

The brush fire that had threatened about 50 homes in the housing developments was fully contained at noon after blackening more than 10 square miles, fire information officer Mark Struble said.

``It could have been a lot worse,″ he said. ``If the wind had been more out of the northwest, there could have been more flaming among the houses.″

No houses were damaged, but flames came within 100 feet of some homes Friday.

``It was pretty scary,″ homeowner Doug Bothun told the Reno Gazette-Journal. ``There was a wall of fire 15 feet high. The firefighters showed up just in time.″

High winds fanned flames after the fire broke out Friday near the small community of Verdi just east of the California line. About 800 homes are in the area.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation. Some residents reported seeing campers near the fire’s origin.

In California, a wildfire raged across hillside brush in northern Los Angeles County, damaging a power substation and knocking out electricity to at least 4,450 homes. The fire, burning in Gorman, also forced closure of two northbound lanes of Interstate 5, county fire inspector Stan Padilla said.

The fire burned about 2.3 square miles, or 1,500 acres, and was 15 percent contained Sunday night, Los Angeles County Fire Captain Mark Savage said.

A second wildfire northeast of San Jacinto in Riverside County had burned nearly half a square mile of steep mountainous terrain and was 15 percent contained, officials said. No structures have been threatened by the blaze, sparked Saturday by fireworks, fire spokesman Patrick Chandler said.

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