Fire videos explain how to protect home

Five months before the Waterfall fire roared near Carson City, local filmmakers Jean and Chris Nolan put the finishing touches on the fourth episode of a fire-protection video series.

Jean Nolan said the timing was coincidental, but now she hopes the Nevada Division of Forestry videos can help prevent the spread of future devastating fires.

"Right after it was done, I was really hoping we'd never have to see that on our side of the hill," she said.

The film series, called "Fireline," consists of four 30-minute episodes titled: "Prepare, Defend, Restore"; "Fifteen Reasons"; "Partners in Prevention" and "Weather, Fuel, Topography."

"Fireline" will play on community access television at times in the Sunday Nevada Appeal TV section. Nolan said the videos will be available for check out at the Nevada Division of Forestry Western Region office, 885 Eastlake Blvd., Washoe Valley; or at the Carson City Library starting in the middle of this month.

Nolan, co-owner of Pro Star Productions, said the videos were funded through a NDF grant and the National Fire Plan. She said she believes the series is relevant because it was shot with local people. The Nolans worked on the project for nearly two years.

"A lot of people on it have been people who worked on the Waterfall fire," she said.

Capt. Rich Riolo, of the NDF fire-prevention bureau, said he hopes people will watch the videos to protect their homes.

The first video features Riolo conducting a home inspection, in which he helps the owners plan defensible space. Next, Riolo shows viewers fire-resistant plants for landscaping.

Episode two gives 15 reasons for creating defensible space. Riolo believes defensible space saved many homes in the Waterfall fire.

"The (firefighters) did just a bang-up job," he said. "If they wouldn't have had the defensible space to go up there and fight the fires, I know we would've lost more homes."

Episode three examines the roles of those who fight wildfires. Home owners describe what they did to make their homes more fire-safe. Riolo said many Lakeview area homes were saved because of these methods.

Episode four discusses fire behavior, Riolo said many Waterfall firefighters told him how strangely the fire acted.

"It's kind of odd that here we did our last tape talking about that, and there it happened," he said.

Riolo hopes to do another series on Lakeview area homes and how they were saved because of defensible space.

Contact Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


To schedule a defensible-space home inspection or to check out a copy of the Fireline episodes, contact the prevention bureau at 849-2500, ext. 227.


Defensible space is area around a structure that is cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire. It also provides room for firefighters to do their jobs.


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