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Fernley is a city in Lyon Countymarker, Nevadamarker, United Statesmarker. The city incorporated in 2001, including land in Lyon and Washoe Countymarker; prior to that it was a census-designated place (CDP). The population of the CDP was 8,543 at the 2000 census; the city itself had an estimated population of 12,673 in 2007, almost all of whom lived in Lyon County.


Fernley is located at the intersection of Interstate 80 and US 95A. Although it originally spanned the Lyon/Washoe County line, a county boundary change in 2005 left it entirely in Lyon County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP had a total area of , all land.


Fernley's climate is typical of high desert environments. The winter may bring cold temperatures and some snow, but nothing extreme is normally experienced. Summers are generally hot and very dry. Fernley's average annual rainfall is per year.


As of the census of 2000, there were 8,543 people, 3,151 households, and 2,366 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 241.2 people per square mile (93.2/km²). There were 3,432 housing units at an average density of 96.9/sq mi (37.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 87.11% White, 1.00% African American, 1.53% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 3.59% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.87% of the population.

There were 3,151 households out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 18.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 100.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.4 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $44,695, and the median income for a family was $49,596. Males had a median income of $37,480 versus $26,938 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,622. About 4.9% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


Fernley was established in 1904 developed as primarily an agricultural and ranching community in proximity to Reno-Sparks-Lake Tahoe metropolitan. Early in its history Fernley established its first schoolhouse. The one room school house is still in use today as the home of the Fernley Chamber of Commerce.

Much of the farmland in the Fernley area was developed through the Newlands Irrigation Project which was a result of the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902. The project established an irrigation system that delivers water to an area stretching from Derby Dammarker, along the Truckee River, to the Lahontan Reservoirmarker near Fallon, Nevadamarker. Construction and expansion of the system took place from the inception through the 1960s. Many of the concrete irrigation headgates, still in use today, are embossed with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)stamp and date of construction. In addition to the irrigation system in the Fernley, a drainage system was also constructed to carry away excess water and mineral salts from the farmlands. This system consists of channels (5 to deep) dug adjacent to fields and eventually terminates in the sink northeast of Fernley. The irrigation system is administered and maintained through the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District.

In 1965, the Nevada Cement Company started operation in a new plant built on the north side of the city between Fernley and Wadsworth. This was the first significant non-agricultural/ranching business to come to Fernley, aside from the railroad. Primary employment in Fernley began a steady transition to an industrial and commuter base continuing through to the present time. Beginning in the 1970’s, parts of the formerly agricultural and ranching based lands were transitioning to housing subdivisions to support the growing population, much of which was spilling over from rapid growth in the Reno-Sparks area. Close proximity to Interstate 80 and abundant land for housing made Fernley an attractive alternative to the increasingly congested and expensive Truckee Meadows housing market. Beginning near the established parts of the town, growth moved to the Fremont Street area in the mid to late 1970’s, nearer farming areas in the 1980’s, and has continued along the Farm District Road areas to the present. Numerous subdivisions now exist along the Farm District Road including an 18-hole golf course and a new elementary school.

In 1999, opened a order fulfillment center in the industrial park located in the northeast side of the city. Stanley Works had previously used the facility; redesigned the interior systems and greatly expanded the capacity in the years since. Since that time, more companies have opened facilities in the park including Trex Inc., Allied Signal, UPS Worldwide Logistics (Honeywell), ARE Campers, Johns Manville, and Sherwin Williams Paint.

On July 1, 2001, the city of Fernley was incorporated.

Fernley is home to Fernley High School, Vaqueros. The school is currently located off of U.S. 95 on the south side of town. Prior to 1980, the High School was located at the current Fernley Intermediate School on Hardie Lane. The original High School was demolished in the early 1960s and was located on the block now occupied by the In-Town Park near the old downtown area between U.S. 95 and Center Street.

On January 5, 2008, a levee along the Truckee Canal broke, forcing the rescue and evacuation of 3,500 from the town as 3-6 feet of water filled houses.


  1. Untitled Document
  2. Fernley, NV - Official Website
  3. Welcome to Fernley High School
  4. - Nevada Levee Breaks; 3,500 Being Rescued - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News
  5. Hundreds Of Homes Flooded By Ruptured Levee

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