New organization to help reduce wildfire threat | NevadaAppeal.com

New organization to help reduce wildfire threat

Nevada Appeal staff report

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension's Living With Fire Program introduced The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities, or The Network, in its inaugural conference recently.

There were 80 Nevadans from 10 counties in attendance at the Oct. 24 conference representing many stakeholders in Nevada's wildland-urban interface fire issue, including members of wildfire-prone communities; local fire service representatives; local, state and federal agencies; and landscape partners.

Attendees heard about developing a community culture that includes the prospect of wildfire and stimulates people to act, they saw examples of community action to reduce the wildfire threat and they received tips on grant writing. Newly appointed Network Coordinator Elwood Miller was also introduced.

Miller served as executive director of the Nevada Fire Safe Council from 2002 to 2006 and is a University of Nevada, Reno professor emeritus of forestry.

Living With Fire formed The Network to help Nevada's fire-prone communities become better prepared to survive wildfire with little assistance from firefighters. Residents of a fire-adapted community have taken the necessary steps to make their homes and the surrounding vegetation more resistant to ignition and the spread of fire. In addition, they have prepared a plan and completed the necessary steps to safely accomplish a timely evacuation if necessary.

"The preemptive steps that are necessary to improve the prospect of survival are well known," Miller said.

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"Motivating people to take these steps requires a change in thinking about where they live and its vulnerability to destruction by wildfire."

Stacey Giomi, Carson City Fire Chief, is among 10 members of the advisory board created to give direction to the new organization.

"This is an excellent and diverse advisory board that is very capable of providing The Network with the startup direction and advice it needs," Miller said. "I'm very excited to work with these individuals."

For more information, or to join The Network, go to LivingWithFire.info or contact Miller at millere@unce.unr.edu or 775-336-0266.

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