Conditions still ripe for additional fires | NevadaAppeal.com

Conditions still ripe for additional fires

Capitol Bureau
A wildland fire burned more than 4,500 acres almost one year ago east of Fallon.
STEVE RANSON / LVN |

The continuing drought in Western Nevada, emphasized by the magnitude and frequency of recent fires, has local, state and federal fire managers concerned that conditions are ideal for fire starts.

Spring rains have caused cheatgrass and medusahead to flourish, further invading our landscape. These invasive grasses quickly ignite and spread fire more rapidly than native plants.

“The 54,000-acre Hot Pot Fire on July 2 exhibited incredible fire behavior,” said Paul Petersen, BLM state fire management officer. “According to our analysis, the fire traveled 10,000 acres per hour, which equals 166 acres per minute or three acres per second. That is the equivalent to just over two football fields per second!”

Human-caused fires often occur close to communities and may threaten homes and businesses. The June 3 Pyramid Fire had structures nearby and was started by target shooters. When shooting targets, be fire safe by choosing an area free of rocks and vegetation, keeping water and a tool close by.

Because of the brittle and dry vegetation, sparks from normal outdoor activities such as mowing, riding all- terrain vehicles, target shooting and parking on grass can easily ignite vegetation.

Take aim at preventing wildfires by paying attention to conditions.