There are no guarantees during fire season
June 1, 2007
When you live in a tinderbox, it’s reassuring to see truckloads of wildland firefighters regularly driving through town. And it’s impressive to see the aircraft respond so quickly to fires like they did this week on the Mound House blaze. Then, when you consider the sheep and goats eating the fire fuels above Carson City, we ought to be feeling pretty good about making it through this fire season unscathed.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees and when you hear fire managers say we’re primed for a catastrophic event, they’re not exaggerating. If it’s not in this valley, it could be in the next, or in the forests around Lake Tahoe. In the worst-case scenario, a lightning storm could combine with strong winds and send flames sweeping through a town or residential area, causing damage much greater than the Waterfall Fire that destroyed 14 homes.
There are many things beyond our control in preventing that fate, including the weather that can suddenly bring down dozens of lightning strikes.
That’s why it’s important to control what we can. Carson City is doing its part with the fuels reduction. The firefighters and aircraft stand ready to pounce.
That just leaves us to do what we can. Most people have heard the defensible space mantra so often they can recite it like the Pledge of Allegiance, but there’s still much to do on the edges of our communities where fire could get a fatal handhold.
If protecting your home isn’t enough to make you act, think about the firefighters who might have to put their lives on the line. On the Mound House fire, those firefighters were grateful for the people who’d cleared fire fuels away from their homes, but more can be done.
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“We wish more people would have defensible space,” said Fire Information Officer Elayn Briggs.