Disaster averted, thanks to quick responses | NevadaAppeal.com

Disaster averted, thanks to quick responses

While no one wants to become complacent about the potential for wildfires, it looks like Northern Nevada residents can breathe a collective sigh of relief. For the most part, our area got off light on a season that had the potential to be disastrous.

The timber and grasslands were tinder dry, and some area fire managers were predicting it was not a matter of if, but when, we would see another devastating fire.

That nearly happened in June when the lightning storms swept across the area and burned thousands of acres, some of which were visible from Carson City. But fire crews swept to the rescue and worked around the clock to keep the fires from destroying any homes. Residents wrote letters of praise for the firefighters, and signs sprang up thanking the true heroes of this fire season.

Time after time, fires were reported throughout the region, and time after time, armies of firefighters clad in yellow pounced on them before they could get out of control. Aircraft frequently buzzed across the region on the way to douse another fire.

In all, about 1.3 million acres burned in Nevada. It cost millions to fight them, and some people will be paying for years to come, including ranchers who lost grazing land.

There were about 1,800 fires in the state this year, and they wiped out thousands of acres of wildlife habitat.

But it could have been much worse were it not for good fortune and the quick response and hard work of firefighters.