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Firefighting Agencies Urge Prevention of Human Caused Fires


A firefighter watches fire behavior preparing for action as it approaches the house. The Picnic Rock fire gobbled 8900 acres, burned two structures and forced the evacuation of 140 residents. (Photo courtesy of BLM Colorado)

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Nevada Division of Forestry would like to remind the community that the dry conditions caused by a four-year drought and recent warmer temperatures increase the chances of wildfires.

“We encourage the public to be careful in regards to human-caused fires and take appropriate steps to prevent them,” said Shane McDonald, Interagency Fire Management Officer. “In situations such as the anticipated high wind days, firefighting agencies rely heavily upon the public to make sensible decisions in regards to fire on public and private land.”

The following precautions are recommended:

  • Do not leave a campfire unattended.
  • Extinguish your campfire completely and stir the ashes to make sure no hot coals remain.
  • Dispose of cigarettes butts in proper containers away from any flammable materials.
  • Internal combustion equipment on off-road vehicles should have a spark arrester.
  • Avoid driving though dry vegetation or parking vehicle in high grass or dry vegetation.
  • Do not use stoves, lanterns or heaters inside a tent.
  • Store flammable liquid containers in a safe place.
  • Do not shoot tracer bullets, incendiary ammunition or exploding targets.
  • Do not shoot in areas of dry fuels especially in times of extreme conditions such as Red Flag Warnings or Fire Weather Watches
    • Red Flag Warnings mean that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly.  A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.
    • Fire Weather Watches mean that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur.
    • Both have been issued by the National Weather Service.
  • Shoot only at cardboard or paper targets or manufactured thrown-type clay targets.
  • Remember, shots fired across open desert can travel more than a mile and can cause a wildfire.
  • At the first sign of a wildfire, contact Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center at 775-883-5995 or call 911.

“Agencies will be closely monitoring conditions as they evaluate the need for fire restrictions,” according to McDonald.

The BLM and USFS have already managed six human caused fires that burned 180 acres of public land in 2015 alone, so it is important to keep these recommendations in mind and have a safe summer.

For more information, please contact Lisa Ross at 775-885-6107.

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