One of the worst fires in Nevada’s history was nearly a perfect storm of unfavorable conditions and unfortunate circumstances, and both the state’s governor and top insurance regulator praised insurance carriers in the state for their quick response.
Reno Fire Chief Mike Hernandez says ferocious winds, power outages, rocky canyons and gated communities were just some of the things firefighters found themselves up against in the middle of a cold November night battling the kind of blaze more typical of a sweltering August afternoon.
With winds gusting to 70 mph, the flames up to 100 feet tall snaked through narrow canyons and ravines.
Hernandez likened it to a run-away locomotive, at one point burning at 20 to 30 mph with flying embers touching off new starts a mile away.
The southwest Reno fire forced close to 10,000 to evacuate and destroyed 32 homes, but was fully contained on Sunday after destroying nearly 2,000 acres. Although no official cause has been determined, authorities suspect arcing power lines.
About 30 homes were destroyed. Gov. Brian Sandoval says it is a miracle more weren’t lost.
“I have been impressed with the rapid response of the insurance community understanding how stressful these losses can be for a family who has lost a home,” Sandoval said in a statement.
Insurance Commissioner Scott J. Kipper, who was urging Reno residents affected by the Caughlin Ranch fire to contact the Nevada Division of Insurance if they have questions about insurance or need assistance with insurance claims, also had good things to say about the state’s insurance community.
“My heart goes out to the 30 families who lost their homes to the Caughlin Ranch Fire. I want everybody whose home was destroyed or damaged to know that if they have any questions or issues while filing a claim, that they may contact us for help or advice,” said Commissioner Kipper. “I’d also like to thank the insurance carriers who have responded so quickly to this disaster.