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Douglas 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


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).



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


copies of 18 different publications distributed in 2017


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.


Programs Program Information

Eagles & Agriculture

Two eagles standing with cattle in a field

Green Industry Training Programs of Northern Nevada

Green Industry Training (GIT) and Green Industry Continuing Education Series (GICES) are cost- and time-efficient approaches to serving the Green Industries of northern Nevada, including nursery workers, landscapers, arborists, irrigation and lawn care professionals. The Green Industry Training program begins in late winter with eight three-hour sessions of entry-level training for new industry workers, for those desiring to work in the industry and for existing industry professionals desiring a skills "tune-up." After "basic training," industry members are invited to monthly continuing education opportunities — one hour per month over the noon hour — to hone and improve their skills.

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.

Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages


Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

Master Gardeners in Nevada

 A bumblebee pollinating a yellow flower

Processing and Marketing of Local Meat Products: A Feasibility Analysis

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) developed a feasibility study to find ways to improve financial stability for Nevada livestock producers through processing and niche marketing.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

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

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