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Living With Fire Tip #12: How Do You Rate?

Posted 7/1/2008

During the past several years, just about every Nevada community located in the wildland-urban interface was assessed in terms of wildfire hazard. These assessments were done on a county-by-county basis. The factors considered during these assessments include:

  • adequacy of defensible space
  • building materials used on the houses
  • access for fire equipment and evacuation
  • adequacy of water supply
  • slope of the terrain in the community
  • type of vegetation surrounding the community

As a result of these assessments, 66 Nevada communities were rated "extreme" or "high" in terms of wildfire hazard. Every county except Esmeralda had at least one community rated extreme or high. The counties with the greatest number of high and extreme homes were Washoe, Douglas, Storey, Elko, and Clark. The most common factors contributing to these risky conditions were the potential for intense fire behavior due to slope and fuel, and lack of defensible space.

To find out how your community fared, go to the Living With Fire Web site, www.livingwithfire.info, and click on "Resources." Then, follow the link to the Resource Concepts, Inc. site, and click on "RCI Reports." The problems identified in the reports can serve as a great starting point for organizing community action to reduce the wildfire threat.

To learn more about protecting your home from the threat of wildfire, visit www.livingwithfire.info or contact Ed Smith, natural resources specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, (775) 782-9960 or smithe@unce.unr.edu. Living With Fire is an interagency program coordinated by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

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