With temperatures increasing, the potential for fire danger is increasing in Northern Nevada as well.
Fire restrictions go into effect for all state and federally owned land beginning today. Because of increased fuels due to a wet winter, drying vegetation, drought conditions and increasing temperatures, the Bureau of Land Management; USDA Forest Service, Bridgeport and Carson ranger districts; the Nevada Division of Forestry; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have implemented the restrictions.
The Carson City Fire Department also has implemented the fire restrictions on all city and privately owned lands within Carson.
The NDF has also placed travel restrictions within the Sierra Fire Protection District, prohibiting operating vehicles off of existing hard surface gravel or dirt roads in wildland areas and traveling in these areas without an axe, shovel and one gallon of water. In addition, the BLM and Forest Service have recommended avoiding cross country travel whenever possible to prevent the grass from igniting from hot exhaust systems.
“We just advise off road vehicles to watch what they are doing when they are going into the dry brush,” said Carson City Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott McDaniel. “They really need to make sure they are being fire cautious.”
These restrictions don’t prevent property owners from the safe use of barbecues, Chimeras, patio fireplaces and propane or white gas stoves if they use non-combustible surfaces away from ignitable wildland fuels on their property. However, charcoal grills can’t be used because charcoal burns longer and hotter than wood and embers can linger for hours.
The BLM, USFS, NDF, BIA, and USFWS will be citing those who don’t comply with the posted restrictions and those who use or possess fireworks. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.
State and local officials all said holiday revelers need to be extra cautious with fire danger possibilities with the Fourth of July weekend.
“People need to make sure they aren’t setting off fireworks, they are not legal to set off and people should refrain from doing so,” McDaniel said. “Watch your barbecues and cigarettes and watch for any flames around.”
“We want to try to avoid any disasters and have a fun and safe holiday weekend,” McDaniel added. “People need to be responsible.”
That responsibility also extends to pets and fireworks. Because the noise of the fireworks scares some pets, the shelters often see a sharp increase of stray animals around the holiday.
“Fourth of July fireworks are not fun for your pets,” Nevada Humane Society Regional Animal Services Director Shyanne Schull said. “Animals are sensitive to noise especially loud fireworks; some pets will go to extreme measures, such as chewing through fences and jumping through windows in their effort to escape the noise. Your pet may wander many miles from home inadvertently being subjected to a variety of dangers.”
To make sure pets are safe over the holiday weekend, the Nevada Humane Society and Regional Animal Services advised:
Before the fireworks start, bring and keep your pet inside.
Keep windows and doors closed.
Take steps to down outside noise such as leaving on a radio, television, fan or air conditioner on.
If you’re going to a fireworks display, leave your pet at home.
If your pet experiences extreme anxiety with loud noises, contact your vet for recommendations.
Make sure all pets have identification tags and are microchipped in case they get lost.
For more information, contact the Regional Animal Services director Shyanne Schull at 775-353-8900 or the Nevada Humane Society at 775-856-2000 or visit nevadahumanesociety.org.
For more information or clarification on the restrictions, contact the BLM-Carson City District Office at 775-885-6000, USFS Bridgeport Ranger District at 760-932-7070 and Carson Ranger District at 775-882-2766; the NDF at 775-684-2500; the BIA at 775-887-3500; and the USFWS at 775-423-5128.
To report a fire, contact Carson Fire Department at 911 or the Sierra Front Interagency Fire Dispatch Center in Minden at 775-883-5995.