Crew member from Nevada Department of Forestry works to control Washoe Drive fire near home off Highway 395 in Washoe City
A crew member from the Nevada Department of Forestry works to control the Washoe Drive fire near a home off Highway 395 in Washoe City, Nevada January 19, 2012. The wind-driven fire raged through parched brush near Reno, Nevada, on Thursday, engulfing a number of homes, and prompting residents and livestock to flee by the thousands as belching smoke from the blaze forced the closure of a major highway. REUTERS/James Glover II

A wind-fueled brush fire that has been raging south of Reno since Thursday is now 50 percent contained but at least 20 homes have been destroyed, authorities said.

The Associated Press reported that one person has died in the fire area. However, it is uncertain if the fire is to be blamed for the death.

Mark Regan, spokesman for the Sierra Fire Protection District, told AP the fire is holding steady at about 3,700 acres. Some 2,000 people remain evacuated at this time, the report noted.

The blaze began Thursday afternoon in the Pleasant Valley area south of Reno and scorched more than 3,000 acres four hours later, according to Reuters. Seven residential neighborhoods and two schools were evacuated.

Wind gusts of up to 82 mph have made the Reno fire fast-moving and more than 700 people are expected to fight the blaze on Friday. Law enforcement, National Guard crews and firefighters from California will be a part of the crew working to douse the flames, according to AP.