Wildland fire season officially starts Friday

Wildland fire season officially starts midnight Friday, a reminder to prepare the home for dry, fire-ready conditions, said Nevada Division of Forestry Enforcement Officer Steve Frady.

"This year looks like about the same conditions as last year," he said. "In some areas, there will be as much as 3,000 pounds of cheat grass per acre.

"One pound of burning cheat grass gives off energy equivalent to one gallon of gas."

Frady said the first thing homeowners should do is clear brush at least 30 feet from structures "to break up the continuity of vegetation which can spread wildland fires."

The space can also serve as a parking point for fire trucks.

Frady said the division also recommends removing debris from roofs and gutters, moving woodpiles away from buildings, cutting back tree limbs and contacting the fire department for a courtesy home inspection.

Weather is a contributor to fire conditions, Frady said.

"If the storm systems track north, we may be able to avoid the type of thunderstorms we had last summer," he said.

State foresters say prevention is the key to avoiding a summer fire season like the one that ravaged 1.8 million acres in Nevada last year

Fire prevention will also provide protection for some who make their livelihood off the land. Many ranches were burned over, necessitating several years of regrowth before the land is suitable for grazing.

Overall, government agencies are well-equipped for the inevitable summer blazes, Frady said. In the case of the rare large fire, personnel has to be brought in from out of state.


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