The Latest: Arson suspect arrested in wildfire north of Reno
RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on the wildfires and smoky conditions in Nevada (all times local):
A 34-year-old Nevada man has been arrested as an arson suspect in a wildfire that has burned more than 68 square miles (176 sq. kilometers) of mostly rangeland and forced evacuations north of Reno.
Washoe County sheriff’s spokesman Bob Harmon says David Radonski of Reno was arrested Tuesday and booked into the county jail on suspicion of more than 40 criminal counts.
He’s accused of starting the Perry Fire on Friday about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Reno near Pyramid Lake.
Harmon told The Associated Press Radonski faces two counts of first-degree arson related to either damage or destruction of two residences. He was booked on 41 counts of third-degree arson.
Harmon says those counts are based on the number of vehicles or out buildings that are known to have been damaged by the fire that’s now estimated to be about 31 percent contained.
Dense smoke from a series of wildfires burning in California has triggered air quality alerts across more than a 400-mile (640-kilometer) stretch of Nevada from Reno to Las Vegas.
The Clark County Department of Air Quality in Las Vegas has issued a smoke, ozone advisory through Wednesday in anticipation of air quality levels moving into the unhealthy range for the most vulnerable populations, including young children, senior citizens and those with respiratory issues.
The smoke is heavier in Reno and Carson City where the air pollution reached some of the worst ozone levels ever recorded in those cities on Monday because of big fires to the south near Yosemite National Park and to the north near Redding, California.
Air quality warnings that were in effect for all residents in Reno, Sparks and Carson City on Monday were dialed back to apply only to sensitive groups Tuesday morning but health officials say conditions may worsen as the day goes on.
All roads are open and some evacuation orders have been lifted but dozens of homes continue to be threatened by a wildfire burning about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Reno near Pyramid Lake.
More than 300 firefighters are battling the Perry Fire between Palomino Valley and the lake. The blaze was estimated Tuesday morning to be about 30 percent contained.
State Route 446 was reopened early Tuesday between the Pyramid Highway and Nixon.
One vehicle has burned but no homes have been damaged or injuries reported.
The fire has burned about 68 square miles (176 sq. kilometers) since it started Friday evening.
Crews are battling temperatures expected to approach triple digits Tuesday afternoon as well as thick smoke from multiple fires burning in the region that has trigged air quality alerts in Reno, Sparks and Carson City.