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Illegal burn may have sparked Nevada wildfire

Investigators: Illegal burn may have sparked 6,600-acre Nev. wildfire that destroyed 2 houses By The Associated Press

HOLBROOK JUNCTION, Nev. (AP) ' Investigators say a wildfire that destroyed two homes near the California-Nevada line may have been caused by an illegal "open burn" that had been quietly smoldering at a private residence since Sunday.

Open burning of weeds and grass is allowed with a permit when conditions are favorable in the rural area that includes the Topaz Ranch Estates about 50 miles south of Lake Tahoe.

But Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Halsey said Wednesday a preliminary investigation indicates the residential burn exceeded the permit requirements, including the ignition of materials prohibited under county regulations.

The resident hasn't been named. The sheriff's office, Nevada state fire marshal and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management continue to investigate.

The wildfire erupted Tuesday afternoon and has burned more than 6,000 acres.

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