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Guardsmen assisting Reno Police in fire-stricken neighborhood

CARSON CITY -- About 80 Nevada Guard Soldiers and Airmen were on duty Friday night assisting the Reno Police Department with welfare checks and security in west Reno as the 2,000-acre Caughlin Fire continued to smolder.

The Guardsmen helped police conduct neighborhood sweeps and assist with traffic control. The Guardsmen, mainly volunteers from the Nevada Air National Guard base in Reno, the Army Aviation Support Facility in Reno, and the Office of the Adjutant General in Carson City, were not armed. There are no reports of looting.

More than 450 firefighters continued to battle the blaze that began early Friday morning and impacted more than 25 structures. About 10,000 people were evacuated.

Two vehicles and their respective crews from the Nevada Air Guard's firefighting unit at the 152nd Airlift Wing in Reno were also dispatched to the fire.
Reno fire department officials said 4,900 homes could have been affected by the fire at the height of the blaze.

Guardsmen were set to assist the police department until noon on Saturday. The majority of the Soldiers and Airmen are active Guardsmen, so the duty performed by the Guardsmen will not add to the cost of the fire.

Nevada Guard Soldiers and Airmen remained ready through the weekend should the fire rekindle.