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May 1 event to raise wildfire awareness



Local firefighting agencies, groups sponsor Redfield Campus gathering

Firefighting  agencies, the Nevada Fire Safe Council, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living with Fire program and others are hosting a community event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 1 at the UNR Redfield Campus, 18600 Wedge Parkway in Reno off the Mount Rose Highway.

The event will be an opportunity for area residents to learn more about protecting their homes from wildfire. The event will also feature fun activities for kids, including a chance to climb aboard firefighting helicopters and fire engines, practice safety in the Fire Safety House and watch water-drop exercises on the nearby hillsides. Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will be on hand, and there will be a free raffle and a chance to win prizes.

Parents can visit with vendors displaying products that help protect homes from wildfire embers, which can be lofted high into the air during a wildfire and travel as far as a mile from the actual blaze. Embers are a main reason many homes ignite during a wildfire.

Organizers are urging Nevada residents this year to “Be Ember Prepared” and to take action before the fire season starts to make their homes safer when wildfire embers arrive.

Other events scheduled for the May 1 Community Event include:

  • Junk the Junipers: Homeowners can bring in highly combustible juniper bushes removed from the areas within 30 yards of their home and drop them off for free chipping and disposal. The first 150 people will get a coupon for a free replacement shrub from Moana Nursery. The event is sponsored by Moana Nursery, Reno Fire Department, the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Foresty, and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Details:  Sonya Sistare, 775-856-8403.
  • Wildfire evacuation: A P.R.I.D.E Evacuation Training class is scheduled from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the UNR Redfield Campus. Participants are invited to stay and attend the Community Event. Details: Mark Regan, 775-849-1108.
  • Presentations from local officials and firefighting representatives from noon to 1 p.m.
  • A fund-raising barbecue by the Volunteer Firefighters Association.

The May 1 community event is the kickoff for Wildfire Awareness Week, which includes special events around the state through May 8. For details on Wildfire Awareness Week events, go to www.livingwithfire.info.

The May 1 community event is sponsored by local, state and federal firefighting agencies, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Nevada Fire Safe Council and Cooperative Extension. Details: 775-856-8403.

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