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County Offices

Southern Clark County 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.

All 4 Kids

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit program is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing child obesity. Developed by Cooperative Extension faculty from maternal/child nutrition, exercise physiology and child development, the All 4 Kids program helps children meet the Nevada Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Standards while encouraging preschool children and families to practice healthy eating habits and be active every day.

Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A Workforce Readiness Program

The Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A workforce readiness program for high school students focused on skill development for workplace and job success. Career Edge helps high school students prepare to get their first "paying" job while working toward their dream job or career. Career Edge provides information and training on interview skills, résumé development, filling out applications, finding job leads and selecting appropriate clothing for the workplace. In addition, many "soft skills" needed in the workplace such as decision-making, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership are integrated throughout the program.

Commercial Landscape Horticulture

Thistles prepared for the “Noxious Weeds and Weed Law” green industry class

Desert Green, Commercial Water Conservation Training

Desert Green is in its eleventh year and is designed to educate commercial clientele in the Green Industry as well as others who have an interest in water conservation issues. A committee representing the industry implements the training. Desert Green is chaired by one industry representative and one UNCE representative. The program is presented once a year, with 36 classes taught in a two-day period. A committee of industry representative reviews evaluations from the previous year to decide future educational direction and topics. During the evaluation process, the program is reviewed, modified and revised according to the needs of the clientele. As part of the marketing of this program, two articles citing the importance of Desert Green appear in regional trade publications.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

Exploring Your True Colors: Building an Effective Team & Team Development Course

Team Development Course

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.

Food for Thoughts, School Garden

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Food for Thoughts Program offers children an alternative site for learning, promotes awareness of the desert environment, demonstrates the geographic sources of their food, and encourages healthy eating and activities.

Fun To Play

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Fun To Play program targets families where, due to the young age, inexperience or limited resources of the parents, young children are placed at-risk for developmental delays and later school difficulties. Fun To Play is a series of weekly infant/child sessions aimed at improving the parenting skills of young parents by increasing the amount of learning activities and interaction they provide their children.

Healing gardens in Las Vegas

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension healing gardens essentially become outdoor sanctuaries for people who are hospitalized as well as their families and the staff that works with them.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

The Healthy Eating on a Budget program has been integrated into the TANF Work Readiness workshop as a SNAP-Ed program. The purpose of the 8-lesson series is to provide SNAP recipients with education on healthy nutrition and physical activity practices, food resource management, food safety and food security.

Healthy Steps to Freedom

Alcohol and drug addiction are serious, chronic and relapsing health problems for both women and men of all ages and backgrounds. Leading to physical and mental health problems, substance abuse often precipitates violence, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, motor vehicle crashes, homelessness, rising health care costs and obesity.

Little Books and Little Cooks

Children scooping soil from a wheelbarrow into a carton

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 Naturalist

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) in collaboration with partnering agencies including Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Springs Preserve, Wetlands Park, Nevada State Museum, and others, has developed a comprehensive environmental education curricula targeting adult learners interested in environmental issues affecting southern Nevada.

Pick a better snack™ (formerly Chefs for Kids)

This evidence-based campaign focuses on building fruit and vegetable consumption in children through healthy snacking. Pick a better snack™ is a monthly, in-school nutrition education program for primary grade children in at-risk elementary schools in Clark and Washoe counties in Nevada. In addition to direct instruction, staff works with school wellness coordinators to build meaningful and sustainable programming to create a well environment in every school.

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

Programs Program Information
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
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