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Complex Fires Burn Near Reno

Fire crews from as far away as Boise, Salt Lake City and Elko are heading for Reno and the Verdi complex fires.

At least 850 acres of sagebrush and scrub pines have burned in the largest fires at the base of Peavine Peak north of Interstate-80 near the California line.

The flames licked to within about a few thousand yards of homes near Verdi just west of Reno at one point. No evacuations have been ordered. Some 200 firefighters already are on the scene, assisted by air tankers and helicopters.

At least four fires were sparked by dry lightning strikes just before noon yesterday, sending up plumes of smoke that were visible more than 20 miles away. The largest was 20 percent contained at 400 acres. Another one up Peavine — called the Look Out fire — still is burning vigorously in heavier fuel and has blackened at least 450 acres.

Forest Service spokeswoman Christie Kalkowski says state, federal and local agencies are sending as much equipment as they can.

Lightning also set off a handful of smaller blazes around the Reno area and two east of Carson City.