Don’t forget about prudent spring burning | NevadaAppeal.com

Don’t forget about prudent spring burning

Water and possible flooding have been on everyone’s mind since January, but the Fallon/Churchill Volunteer Fire Department — along with the Federal Fire Department at Naval Air Station Fallon — have also been responding to controlled burns that have jumped their boundaries, especially on days when the afternoon winds pick up. We need to be more careful.

And we don’t have to tell you that it has been windy this spring.

Gusty winds, cooler temperatures and rain last week had a knack for deceiving our residents, but after a few days, temperatures will warm up into the 80s and possibly the 90s in late May. The Lahontan Valley farmers and ranchers have been burning weeds and grass and will continue to do so in the weeks ahead.

While many Lahontan Valley residents are aware of the climatic elements such as windy weather, others, unfortunately, decide to take a chance and are embarrassed when the fire department must contain the flames. Residents who burn weeds or other types of vegetation should know of our unpredictable weather conditions in Northern Nevada during the spring, and this spring has been a crazy one.

We hear on our scanner at least two to three calls each week when a resident needs the fire department.

The two area fire departments respond to many controlled burns that have escaped their perimeters and then threaten buildings or other people’s property. Fences tend to be the most commonly burned structures followed by outer buildings. Sometimes, we have seen fire damage or destroy a house.

Trust us, during the past few years in the county, controlled burns move quickly. Incidents involving these types of fire usually tie up firefighters and take away valuable resources in case a major fire were to occur or an incident occurred because of flooding. Unnecessary calls like this are also a drain on the county’s resources.

Every year we like to remind of the advice given to residents from the fire department:

Keep a good, wide buffer of at least 30 feet between vegetation and the house and outer buildings;

Have an ample source of water nearby;

Be aware of weather conditions;

Burn during the early mornings hours, not later in the day when the afternoon breezes kick up.

Call 911 immediately and not assume someone else will call the fire department if the fire grows uncontrollably larger or the winds begin to increase.

When in doubt about conditions, though, we strongly suggest people who want to burn call the fire department and ask the fire marshal about the proper precautions to take.

Editorials appear on Wednesdays in the LVN.