A burned car and debris is scattered around what is left of a house on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 in Pleasant Valley, south of Reno, Nev. The area remains closed, as seen on Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. The blaze started shortly after noon Thursday and, fueled by wind gusts reaching 82 mph, mushroomed to more than 6 square miles before firefighters stopped its surge toward Reno. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
January 21, 2012 8:50:02 AM PST
MARTIN GRIFFITH Associated Press
RENO, Nev. (AP) - January 21, 2012 --
An elderly man discarding fireplace ashes accidentally touched off the brush fire that raged south of Reno, destroying 29 homes and forcing thousands of people to flee the flames, authorities said.