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Neighbors prepare for fire season

Karl Horeis

With wildland-fire season heating up, a group of Carson City residents is taking the initiative in fire-proofing their neighborhood.

Several residents along Old Clear Creek Road have formed a community chapter of Nevada Fire Safe, a statewide nonprofit organization which works to decrease the threat of fire and increase awareness.

The neighborhood group paid a private company to analyze the specific threats they face. They’ll walk the neighborhood and consider the company’s suggestions, which include two major fire breaks, developing water storage facilities and reducing fuels in the area on March 25.

“The Forest Service told us we’re one of their highest priorities,” said Sharon Arnold, leader of Clear Creek chapter of Fire Safe.

She organized next Thursday’s walk with help from Elwood Miller, executive coordinator of the Nevada Fire Safe Council. Many other groups are involved.

“We have the Carson City Fire Department, Nevada Division of Forestry, the Department of Transportation, Sierra Pacific, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Nevada Fire Safe Council, and private homeowners all involved and all working together to reduce the fire threat and improve community protection,” Miller said.

It’s important to have homeowners involved in fire planning, he said.

“You have to have that sort of over-the-back-fence support for this kind of project or they just never turn out.”

Some of the planning involves cutting firebreaks through forest areas, clearing brush away from homes, and ensuring proper access to water.

“A lot this is actually being proposed on private land so we need (homeowners’) support and we need their consent,” Miller said.

Pre-emptive planning for fire season benefits the whole community – not just those home owners who live in the wildland-urban interface, he said.

“Even if you don’t live in that community you benefit because the cost of suppression is reduced.”

His organization serves as the parent to 18 community chapters across the state. For information on Nevada Fire Safe, call Miller in Reno at 322-2413.

Contact Karl Horeis at khoreis@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.