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Students help remove fire risk

Dylan Riley, Appeal Staff Writer

Team leader Melissa Jones, 23, worked in the middle of five other students Friday thinning brush out of fire lines on a hill behind houses in the Lakeview area of West Carson City.

“The idea is to be able to look down the hill and not tell that anything has been done, but if you walk through it you can tell that it has been thinned out,” Jones said. “The day before this we were working in pi-on and juniper rather than sage, this is mostly sage and bitterbrush.”

Jones is part of the Fire Education Corps of the Student Conservation Association, a nonprofit organization.

The students are volunteers in their early 20s from Detroit, San Antonio, Loon Lake, Wash., Richmond Va., and Muncie, Ind.

“We’re from all over,” Jones said.

The Fire Education Corps is designed to help property owners in 21 states protect their homes form wildfire.

More than 150 volunteers are trained and have spent the summer working in “wildland-urban interface” areas. The interface areas are defined as those where development and wildland fuels meet or where homes are located in wooded/vegetated areas that are at risk to fire.

The corps works with the National Interagency Fire Center, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“We also get an Americorps grant award,” Jones said.