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The Latest: Yosemite fire smoke triggers air alert in Reno

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires burning in Nevada (all times local PDT):

12:20 p.m.

An air quality alert has been issued for the Reno-Sparks area due to heavy smoke blowing in from a California wildfire near Yosemite National Park more than 150 miles away.

The Washoe County Health District said Wednesday the conditions are unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Officials say children, older adults and people with respiratory issues including asthma should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

The blaze in the rugged mountains outside of Yosemite National Park is threatening 1,500 structures and forcing thousands of nearby residents to flee their homes.

The blanket of smoke has made the downtown Reno skyline invisible from just a few miles away in neighboring Sparks.


12:05 p.m.

A wind-driven wildfire that destroyed four homes in rural northeast Nevada and damaged several more is now 90 percent contained.

Bureau of Land Management spokesman Greg Deimel (DEYE'-muhl) said Wednesday that a total of seven residences burned just east of Elko, but three of those were uninhabited.

Deimel says no one was hurt in the fire that broke out in extremely windy conditions Monday afternoon.

But five outbuildings and 16 vehicles also were destroyed by the flames that shut down part of Interstate 80 for several hours about 100 miles west of the Utah line.

Deimel says the fire charred about 11 square miles of mostly grass and sagebrush. But he says there's virtually no fire activity within the perimeter so some of the 350 crew members on the lines may be released later Wednesday to fight other fires.

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