Fire officials want to stay on top of wildfire threat in Northern Nevada

The burn scar from the Brenda Fire seen Friday afternoon.

The burn scar from the Brenda Fire seen Friday afternoon.

With dry weather and increased vegetation, Carson City fire officials are informing the public about fire dangers and protecting your home through the summer.

Recently, fire officials in Carson City and the surrounding regions have put Northern Nevada on a target shooting restriction through October, due to the high risk of wildfires.

“We have implemented fire restrictions in Carson City and all open space areas in coordination with the Nevada Division of Forestry, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to place restrictions through Northern Nevada,” said Carson City Fire Chief Sean Slamon.

Slamon said this restriction was created because of the risk of significant wildfires in the region that can impact property and lives due to a heavy winter and dry grasses and weeds.

“It doesn’t take much to start a fire,” Slamon said. “Look at the last several weeks with a multitude of significant fires in our region, with some that are still burning.”

Officials believe the region will see a longer summer and fire season than previous years and with nearly 90 percent of wildfires caused by humans, residents need to take steps to help avoid a fire, Slamon said.

“We all know the dangers a fire creates,” Slamon said. “Conditions are ripe for disaster in our region and throughout the western region of our country. It takes little to start a fire and with our topography with surrounding hills there are a lot of areas susceptible to rapid fire growth.”

So far, Carson has seen two fires in Brunswick Canyon and one in the Lakeview area that all burned less than 14 acres. Washoe County has been plagued with several fires the last several weeks.

Slamon and other fire officials met with senior citizens Friday for the monthly TRIAD event to discuss how residents can keep themselves and their homes safer this fire season.

“It is a great time to take mind about defensible space to reduce the risk of wildfire, property damage and the potential of getting caught in a wildfire,” Slamon said.

“We have the potential for devastating fires in this area.”

He said if residents create a defensible space around their home, if a wildfire were to break out it would reduce that potential risk. Creating a defensible space includes clearing any weeds or dead vegetation around the perimeter, reducing any mid-level vegetation to avoid spreading the fire to the trees, clearing debris and vegetation from under wooden decks and gutters. Residents should also be prepared to evacuate quickly.

“We advise anyone in areas prone to wildfires, we ask you to be prepared to evacuate on a moment’s notice so have any pertinent documents, medications and ideas of where to go in case of an evacuation,” Slamon said. “Even if you aren’t being evacuation there may be no power so make sure you have enough water and non-perishable foods on hand for a couple days.”

The fire restriction is in effect through October, though it can be shortened or extended depending on weather conditions over the next few months.

“If we get more rain and more green (foliage) it can be relaxed,” Slamon said. “But the summers seem to be getting longer and the fire season has certainly been getting longer, we had several fires even into last October.”

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