Summit offers fire reduction tips to homeowners
The personal experiences of three individuals who lost their homes in separate wildland fires will highlight the importance of fire risk reduction solutions for communities that will be offered as part of the Nevada Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Summit sponsored in part the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.
The summit is being held at the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno today and Tuesday.
Jolaine Johnson, Mary Ann Randall and Joe McAvoy are scheduled to discuss the loss of their respective homes during wildland fires. Johnson lost her home in the 1996 Autumn Hills Fire in Carson Valley; Randall’s home was burned during the 2004 Waterfall Fire in Carson City; and McAvoy’s home was destroyed in the Angora Fire of 2007. Their experiences will highlight fire hazard reduction project and funding options for communities presented during the workshop by representatives of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Nevada Division of Emergency Management, Nevada Insurance Council, Sierra Fire Protection District, Nevada Fire Safe Council and Cooperative Extension. Participants will also hear perspectives on "When Wildfire Threatens Your Neighborhood," by officials from the Ventura County Fire Department, North lake Tahoe Fire Protection District and the California Office of Emergency Management.
More than 150 residents, community leaders and officials representing 39 communities and 14 counties in Nevada have already registered to attend the annual conference to discuss and plan for lowering the wildfire hazard ratings for Nevada’s extreme, high and moderate-rated communities. The conference is being organized by Ed Smith and Sonya Sistare of Cooperative Extension in association with federal, state and local agencies. The summit is funded in part through a Community Assistance Grant from the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State Office. Registration and additional conference information is available on the Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Summit’s Web site at www.livingwithfire.info.
Millions of acres of land have been scorched, numerous structures damaged or destroyed and firefighters killed in wildland fires in Nevada since the turn of the century. During the past several years wildland fire hazard assessments have been conducted statewide resulting in 178 communities in Nevada’s 17 counties being rated as having an extreme or high wildland fire hazard. Conference participants will learn how those hazard ratings were conducted and why their community received its specific rating.
In addition to Cooperative Extension, agencies sponsoring the Nevada Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Summit 2009 include the Nevada Association of Counties, Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Fire Safe Council, Nevada Division of Forestry, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Nevada Department of Public Safety-State Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Divisions, Sierra Fire Protection District, North Tree Fire, J and W Forestry, Wildfire Community Resources; and Brandguard Vents.