$2 million OK’d for Waterfall fire costs | NevadaAppeal.com

$2 million OK’d for Waterfall fire costs

The Nevada Board of Examiners on Monday approved $2 million from the state Disaster Relief Fund to pay Nevada’s share of costs to battle July’s Waterfall fire.

The fire burned 8,723 acres and 18 homes in west Carson City, running up a cost of more than $8 million before it was brought under control.

Director of Administration Perry Comeaux said the state has been approved for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to cover 75 percent of the cost. He said the $2 million is the state’s 25 percent match.

Comeaux told Gov. Kenny Guinn, Secretary of State Dean Heller and Attorney General Brian Sandoval the fund has more than enough money – a total of some $8 million – to handle the cost of the fire.

The request now goes before the Legislative Interim Finance Committee for final approval. The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday. The disaster relief grant from the state and federal government will go primarily toward paying the costs incurred by state and local agencies in battling the fire. But there is some money in the total for rehabilitation.

State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Nevada Division of Forestry and state Department of Agriculture experts have been working on short-term projects to prevent mudslides, runoff erosion and to begin the long-term process of restoring the watershed since the fire was extinguished a month ago.

State Forester Pete Anderson said then that initial efforts would concentrate on preventing further damage from possible rains and snow this fall and winter.

He and other experts say, however, it will be years before the watershed is fully restored.

Contact Geoff Dornan at nevadaappeal@sbcglobal.net or 687-8750.