A lack of water and near 100-degree heat may put a slight damper on Fourth of July weekend activities within Churchill County.
The National Weather Service, though, said the good news for this week’s temperatures will be lower than the triple-digit record set one year ago when the thermometer topped out at 107 degrees.
Meteorologist Zach Tolby said today will experience temperatures above 100 degrees but decrease a little to the high 90s. A chance of thundershowers exists today, but Tolby said the weak system should be out of the area by Thursday. Tolby said the potential for gusty winds and dry lightning may exist.
For those not wanting to venture out of Fallon on Friday — or for the rest of the weekend — an Independence Day parade begins at 10 a.m. through downtown Fallon, and a family fun day follows at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
State park officials at the Lahontan Lake State Recreation Area report low water levels in the reservoir. Earlier this week, Lahontan recorded 44,787 acre feet of water compared to 90,799 acre feet one year ago and 143,759 acre feet in 2012.
According to Supervisor Tony Beauregard, campsites on the Silver Springs side are one-fourth of a mile away from water; furthermore, because of the low water levels on the Silver Springs’ side and North Shore Marina 20 miles west of Fallon, recreationists will not be able to launch their boats into the reservoir.
“We will not be as busy as last year,” said Beauregard, although he said there will be some water for fishing and swimming.
He said the water below the dam is still good for floating down the river or to the canals; however, he said the water should last for another three weeks.
Eight miles south of Silver Springs on U.S. 95A, the Nevada State Parks division said campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis at Fort Churchill.
Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Lisa Ross said Sand Mountain is not as busy during the Fourth of July weekend as the Memorial or Labor Day weekends because of the heat.
“We’ll have a fairly good crowd with the weekend,” she said.
Ross said fire restrictions in western Nevada went into effect on Monday on both federal and state park lands.
“So far this year, there have been nine fires which burned approximately 204 acres on lands managed by the Carson City District,” she said. “The potential for devastating fires during the summer is very real.”
The State of Nevada has implemented fire restrictions within the boundaries of all state parks to include Lahontan and Fort Churchill.
Ross said it is illegal to possess or use fireworks and/or pyrotechnics on BLM managed lands. Illegal possession or use of fireworks can result in fines up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail for each offense. She said if an individual’s pyrotechnic activities cause a fire, property damage or bodily injury, they could also be financially responsible for damage or suppression costs.
“The laws also provide for seizure and forfeiture of all such materials from individuals by law enforcement,” Ross added.
On June 30, fire restrictions went into effect on public lands managed by BLM in western Nevada.