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Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

Living With Fire logo

Firefighters stand near their firetrucks Firefighters teach community members about wildfire during Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month. Photo by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.


Collaborative monthlong effort encourages homeowners to reduce the wildfire threat

Relevance/Issue

The wildfire threat to Nevada communities is significant and increasing, with 265,156 acres burned in 2016. Key to reducing this threat is an aware and proactive public who implement the necessary pre-fire activities, those actions that improve house survivability during wildfire. In Nevada, there is a diverse group of entities who have a role in promoting wildfire awareness and assisting in the adoption of pre-fire activities, including homeowners, firefighting organizations, elected officials, schools, Cooperative Extension, landscape management professionals, community leaders and others. Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program established Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week/Month as a means to expand the education program and launch a coordinated, statewide wildfire awareness campaign each year. The efforts are continued throughout the year.

Response/What’s Been Done

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month began as a weeklong statewide effort in 2005 and expanded in 2014 to the entire month of May. It’s a collaborative effort coordinated by Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program, with participation by program partners including local, state and federal firefighting agencies and many others. Activities are designed to build awareness and encourage homeowners to take action to reduce the wildfire threat. The 2017 message, communicated at events and via a coordinated marketing campaign, was “Wildfire! Prepare. Anticipate. Evacuate.” This emphasized the importance of pre-planning and action for safe, effective evacuation during a wildfire. A total of 9,974 people attended one or more of the 189 events, and marketing efforts extended into all 17 Nevada counties. The program audience includes homeowners living in high-wildfire-threat areas, firefighters who protect those communities and others who provide services to help them prepare for wildfire.

Results/Impact and Partners

In 2017:

  • Eight other states joined Nevada in securing a multi-state proclamation in observance of Wildfire Awareness Month. Living With Fire helped initiate this effort nine years ago.
  • 189 events or activities were held statewide by Cooperative Extension and partnering organizations.
  • 9,974 people attended events.
  • 866,120 indirect contacts were made via newspaper articles, school flyers, social media efforts and other methods of communications.
  • 23 proclamations were issued, including 17 from Nevada counties, two from municipalities, and one from the Nevada League of Cities.
  • 129 households participated in Junk the Junipers events.
  • 258 truckloads of ornamental junipers and other flammable material were collected at Junk the Junipers events.
  • 149 runners participated in the Nevada Wildfire Fire Awareness Multihour Trail Run, which raised $4,400 for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
  • Reported in-kind contributions from federal and nonfederal sources totaled $29,909.

179 program partners collaborated on Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month activities, including Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators, Nevada League of Cities, Bodine’s Casino, CarsonNow, Barrick-Cortez Mine, Winnemucca City Fire Department, Panaca Market, Pioneer Crossing, Battle Mountain Elementary School, North Lyon Fire Protection District, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, KKOH Radio, Washoe County Emergency Management, Cumulus Media and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month with its many events and activities has served as a template for other states to emulate. For example, the South Dakota Wildland Fire Division started a Junk the Juniper event modeled after Nevada’s. Wildfire Awareness Month messages and graphics have been shared at no cost with other states over the years for adaptation into their own Wildfire Awareness campaigns.

IMPACTS




9,974

people attended events in 2017



$29,909

reported in-kind contributions from federal and nonfederal sources in 2017



$4,400

raised for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in 2017



“I have been on the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month planning committee for several years now, and every year it just seems to keep growing with more partners and more events statewide. I’m not aware of any other state having anything quite like it.”

— Rodd Rummel, Carson City Fire Department


Contact: Sonya Sistare, 775-887-2252

Programs Program Information

4-H Youth Development

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

Carson City Community Garden

The Community Garden began in 2001 and allows community members who don’t have room for a vegetable garden to rent a 4-by-16-foot garden bed for $20 a season at a 25-bed garden complex on Beverly Drive east of the cemetery. The price includes water, soil preparation, some seeds and fertilizer.

Family Storyteller Literacy Program

National award-winning Family Storyteller is a literacy program aimed at encouraging and training parents to play a vital role in the literacy development of their children. Developed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), KNPB-TV, the Washoe County libraries and Washoe County School District, the statewide program creates an opportunity for parents and young children to interact around literacy and language activities. Family Storyteller is designed especially for families that may have limited language skills and few children’s books at home.

Grow Your Own, Nevada

 A tray of vegetables

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

Master Gardeners in Nevada

 A bumblebee pollinating a yellow flower

Nevada Radon Education Program

The Nevada Radon Education Program is a partnership with the Nevada State Health Division to educate Nevadans about the possible health risk posed by elevated levels of radon in the home. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) offers literature, educational programs and radon test kits in many county Extension offices.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

Living With Fire logo

Social Media Training

Extension Educator Lindsay Chichester explaining Facebook Page Best Practices to a room of people

The Greenhouse Project

The Carson City Greenhouse Project was conceptualized in November 2008 in partnership between UNCE; the Carson City Cultural Commission; The Greenhouse Project Committee, a grassroots, community organization; the Carson City School District; Nevada State Parks; and numerous volunteers. The Greenhouse Project serves as a teaching facility for hands on programs at the Carson City High School. Students help to cultivate and distribute vegetables and herbs for culinary classes and community food banks. Additional flower baskets are grown to beautify downtown Carson City.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Herds and Harvest
Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Risk Management
Stronger Economies Together
Weed Prevention and Management
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals