Officials warn of high fire season

Weather conditions coupled with a lack of moisture and heavy fuel may be the best indication of a challenging fire season ahead, officials say.

"Our heavy fuels are currently at 10 percent of their normal moisture, due to the previous years of drought," said Rick Jones, resource management officer for the Nevada Division of Forestry.

The drought cycle of the recent past hasn't been broken, Jones said.

Southern Nevada is in its third successive year of drought conditions and is very dry.

"Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy public lands," said Bob Abbey, Bureau of Land Management Nevada state director. "Summer is also the start of the fire season and the BLM and other agencies are getting our resources prepared.

"We ask outdoor recreationists to make wildland fire awareness and safety a first priority. Help us protect the public land resources, the people using public lands and the firefighters that must respond."

Last year, 14,500 acres eight miles west of Reno were lost in the Martis Fire, which burned for nearly two weeks in late June and cost taxpayers $18.5 million to contain.

In addition to acreage, the fire destroyed one railroad trestle, one mobile home, one cabin, one outbuilding, three vehicles and one travel trailer, and smoke from the fire lingered over Northern Nevada and California for weeks.

The fire was caused by an escaped campfire, officials said.

"Just remember it takes only one moment of carelessness to leave an unwanted wildfire legacy," said Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor Robert Vaught.


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