Week of events to focus on preparing for fire season | NevadaAppeal.com

Week of events to focus on preparing for fire season

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City residents will be able to see how landscaping makes homes less vulnerable to wildfires during a tour next weekend.

Being able to point at examples while explaining why certain trees or flowers help lessen fire dangers is a helpful way to get the message across, said JoAnne Skelly, an educator for University of Nevada, Reno, Cooperative Extension.

“We want to show residents you can create an attractive landscape that also reduces the threat of wildfire to their properties,” Skelly said.

Adrian Buoncristiani’s yards have been cleaned up, a swatch of open space added to keep fire from reaching his home, and older plants and trees have been pruned or removed. Less flammable vegetation has also been planted.

Buoncristiani, who lives in Lakeview, was among a group of residents vying to have their yards made more fire safe. He’s allowing occasional tours of his three-acre property at 4001 County Line Road in exchange for the yard work. This tour is 10-11:30 a.m. May 19.

Skelly will discuss the modifications performed on the landscape and show photos taken before the improvements were made. She will explain reasons for making the improvements and the techniques used in the native wildlands within 100 feet of the home and the cultivated landscaping close to the home.

She will also address specific homeowner concerns, such as privacy screening, landscape aesthetics, and retaining some native plants and plants of special interest.

“We work with the homeowner to design a landscape makeover that reduces the threat of wildfire, while enhancing the beauty of the property,” Skelly said.

Cooperative Extension, Carson City and the Bureau of Land Management sponsored the contest to create a defensible space demonstration house.

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has proclaimed May 19-25 as Nevada Wildland Fire Awareness Week, encouraging all residents to learn more about what they can do to better protect their homes and families from the threat of wildfire.

Events are planned throughout the week. A ceremony to kick off Nevada Wildland Fire Awareness Week will be at 11 a.m. May 18 on the steps of the Capitol. Various fire officials and Smokey Bear will be there.

Fire officials warn that dry weather will make this an especially dangerous year for fires. Property cleanups should be done in spring, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

“For a lot of folks it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind,'” said Franklin Pemberton, community affairs officer for the Carson Ranger District. “But it’s better to do the work in spring – by June or July a spark from a chainsaw or a weed whacker could start a fire.”

To see the yard or obtain information about making one’s home more fire resistant, contact Skelly at 887-2252 or skellyj@unce.unr.edu.

Also learn how to make one’s home more resistant and learn about other events and presentations, including a televised documentary about wildfires, by visiting http://www.livingwithfire.com.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.

For your information

To learn more about making one’s home more fire resistant, contact JoAnne Skelly at 887-2252 or skellyj@unce.unr.edu. Also find out more about Nevada Wildland Fire Awareness Week events and presentations, including a televised documentary about wildfires, by visiting http://www.livingwithfire.com. The documentary, “Living With Fire” is scheduled to run on channels 8 and 10 locally during fire season. Channel 10 is Access Carson City and only available to cable television subscribers.




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