Reno Fire: Snowfall Aids Firefighters in Blaze

PHOTO: Firefighters Aided by Easing Winds in Reno FirePlayCathleen Allison/AP Photo
WATCH Fire Rages in Reno, Nevada

An overnight snowfall helped fire crews reign in a blaze that swept through upscale neighborhoods and destroyed multi-million dollar homes in Reno, Nevada.

Incident Commander Mike Brown told ABC news the worst appears to be over.

Fire crews spent the evening putting out the remaining hot spots.

As many as 10,000 residents were forced to evacuate. But they will be allowed to return to their homes at noon today to assess the damage.

The fire began Friday and raging winds with up to 85 mile an hour gusts quickly pushed the flames from 400 acres to 2,000.

Fire officials say 21 homes and structures were damaged or destroyed.

A firefighter was badly burned and a 74-year-old man suffered a fatal heart attack while trying to flee.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Reno fire department spokesperson Mike Regan said weather conditions made it hard to battle the blazes.

"All day long we were dealing with 50 to 75 mile an hour winds, so a lot of flying debris, a lot of eye injuries we were dealing with," Regan said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have declared the fire a major disaster on Friday.

"The people are in a state of shock and are hanging in there," said Sandoval.

ABC News Radio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.