Nevada wildfire danger high even though it’s winter
RENO — Since Dec. 1, approximately 2,400 acres have been burned by 11 wildfires across the state on BLM managed lands, the Bureau of Land Management reported.
“Although the fires remain under investigation, they were all human caused,” said Paul Petersen, fire management officer with the Bureau of Land Management. “During the summer fire season, most people are aware of the fire danger and take steps to reduce the risk of wildfires but they also need to be reminded the danger exists year round.”
Nevada has received less than 50 percent of its average precipitation between October and January. Temperatures were also above normal for January as well. Snowpack across the state is reported to be less than 50 percent of normal.
“Record precipitation in the winter/spring of 2016/2017 produced a significant grass crop that was reported at 200-300 percent of normal. The warm temperatures and lack of snow at lower elevations this winter has not compacted the grass, keeping it available to burn this year,” said Gina McGuire, a meteorologist with the Great Basin Coordination Center. “The increased fine fuel carry over in the grass crop along with drier than normal sagebrush and other fuels will lead to higher fire potential in the coming months.”
To help reduce the risk of fire, there are several steps that can be taken when out on public lands.
When off-roading, don’t park on dry grass, equip vehicles with spark arrestors and secure trailer safety chains.
If target shooting, place targets in areas free of vegetation and consider not shooting on windy days.
If you want to enjoy a campfire, remember to drown, stir and feel the ashes and repeat the procedure until the fire is cold to the touch before leaving.
For information on wildfire prevention tips and recent wildfires go to http://nevadafireinfo.blogspot.com/.