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Carson City Programs

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

“Be Ember Aware!” is Living With Fire’s most popular publication. Photo by AP Images.

Multiagency program teaches Nevadans how to live more safely in high-wildfire-hazard environments

Relevance/Issue

One of Nevada’s most pressing natural resource issues is the threat of wildfire to human life and property. During the 1990s, more acres burned in Nevada than in the previous 40 years combined. Much of Nevada is considered a high-wildfire-hazard environment, possessing all the ingredients necessary to support intense, uncontrollable wildfires. And within this environment, are homes, subdivisions and entire communities. Unfortunately, many homeowners are not prepared to survive wildfire. Research indicates that pre-fire activities performed by the homeowner, such as creating defensible space, removing debris from rain gutters, and screening vents, significantly improve home survivability. Prior to the Living With Fire Program, there was no organized effort to teach Nevadans how to reduce the wildfire threat. Consequently, it was unlikely that they would implement the practices necessary to reduce this threat to their families, properties and communities.

Response/What’s Been Done

Extension created the multiagency Living With Fire Program in 1997 to teach Nevadans how to live more safely in high-wildfire-hazard environments. Additionally, Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week/Month was established in 2014 as a means to expand outreach efforts with a coordinated, statewide campaign. The Living With Fire Program has received multiple regional and national awards, including the Great Basin Fire Mitigation, Education and Prevention Award in 2016. Program materials and social media have been used in 25 other states and in 25 countries. Program activities in 2017 included: distributing educational materials, organizing and conducting community workshops, promoting wildfire-threat-reduction techniques at community events, maintaining a comprehensive wildfire-threat-reduction website targeting Nevada residents, and supporting an organization that brings Nevada stakeholders together to create fire adapted communities.

Results/Impact and Partners

2017 statewide results include:

  • Distributed 18,426 copies of 18 different publications.
  • There were 19,427 online visits to view 43 different publications and educational tools, including nine to Spanish-language publications.
  • Granted permission to 13 entities from 10 states to use program materials.
  • Presented exhibits at 10 events.
  • Presented The Ember House and Juniper Toss youth activities at 24 events, resulting in 1,653 direct contacts.
  • Conducted three radio interviews and nine television interviews, plus there were three additional television broadcasts mentioning the program.
  • Delivered 16 wildfire-threat-reduction presentations to 475 individuals.
  • Gained new followers on Facebook, now totaling 878 followers located in 10 Nevada counties, eight states and 25 countries.
  • Collaborated with 220 entities (27 percent increase over 2016).

The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Membership and Advisory Board met five times and increased membership by 24 percent for a total of 207, including 172 community members and 35 partner members. In addition, 12 issues of The Network Pulse electronic newsletters were produced and distributed to 661 active contacts, a 9 percent increase over 2016. The Network also provided assistance to ArrowCreek Homeowners Association, Lakeview, Mound House, Palomino Valley, River Mount Park, Skyland and West Washoe. The Network annual conference had 105 participants from 10 Nevada counties. Of the participants who submitted a post-conference evaluation, 88 percent indicated that they were going to take some form of action as result of attending the event.

Partners included Bureau of Land Management ; Nevada Division of Forestry ; U.S. Forest Service ; Nevada State Fire Marshal Division ; local, state and federal firefighting agencies; public safety agencies; community organizations and local businesses.

Public Value Statement

Living With Fire materials have been used in 25 states and 25 countries. Past program awards include National Wildfire Mitigation Award (2015), W. K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards Exemplary Project (2012), Excellence in Extension ― National Award Winner (2006), Excellence in Community Assistance ― National Fire Plan Award (2004), and USDA Honor Award (2002).

IMPACTS




475

people taught about wildfire-threat-reduction at 16 presentations in 2017



18,426

copies of 18 different publications distributed in 2017



88%

of 2017 conference attendees indicated they were going to take some form of action as a result of attending the event



"You should have seen all of the calls I was getting from the incident management teams wanting Living With Fire’s ‘Be Ember Aware!’ handouts. Definitely the most popular handout up here."

— Jordan Koppen, with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, who was assisting incident teams and communities threatened by wildfires throughout the state in summer 2017. Nevada helped by rushing 7,900 copies of the publication to Montana.


Contacts:

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

Grow Your Own, Nevada is a statewide University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program designed to help people discover the secrets to gardening in our high-desert climate. The program includes eight two-hour weekly sessions. Classes are held live in Reno in the spring, summer and fall, and are provided by video conference to Cooperative Extension offices across the state.

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

Master Gardeners in Nevada

Master Gardeners provide free, research-based horticulture information to Nevadans. They are volunteers who learn advanced plant science skills from at least 50 hours of classroom instruction by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) professionals. After training, Master Gardeners volunteer a minimum of at least 50 hours a year to pass along their newly acquired knowledge through the media, talks and workshops. They answer phone calls, send out informational materials and develop community gardens.

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
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Riparian and Watershed Assessment and Management
Risk Management
Stronger Economies Together
Weed Prevention and Management