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Extension offers help to Nevadans in path of wildfire

Posted 8/18/2011

Living With Fire program has tips, lists to help residents evacuate safely

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living with Fire program is encouraging residents in the area of the Ray May Fire to take extra precautions to prepare their families and homes in case they are asked again to evacuate their neighborhoods.

Ed Smith of the Living With Fire program says its important that residents leave when firefighters or law enforcement ask them to.

"That’s No. 1," Smith said. "If they tell you to leave — leave."

However, residents who have some time can take some precautions. For instance:

Dress properly: Wear only cotton or wool clothes, including long pants, shirt and boots. Carry gloves, a handkerchief to cover your face, water to drink and goggles. Keep a flashlight and portable radio handy to take with you.

Prepare the inside of your home: Close interior doors, leave a light on in each room, remove non fire-resistant curtains or other combustible materials from around windows; close fire-resistant drapes, shutters and blinds; turn off pilot lights and move overstuffed furniture to the center of the room.

Prepare the outside of your home: Shut off propane and close exterior house vents or cover them; prop a noncombustible ladder against the house to give firefighters access to the roof; close all doors and windows and leave doors unlocked; turn on outside lights.

Grab your valuables: Important documents; credit and debit cards; driver’s license; laptops and backup computer files; cell phone and charger; medications; personal toiletries and a packed overnight bag; family photos, videos and heirlooms; an inventory and photographs of your possessions including the exterior of the house and landscape.

If you have time: Fill trash cans and buckets with water and leave where firefighters can find them; clearly note for firefighters any pool, pond or other water source on your property; place a "We Have Evacuated Sign" that is visible from the street.

For more detailed instructions for evacuating and preparing for an evacuation, check the Living With Fire instruction page on page 582 of the 2011 Carson City telephone directory, page A25 of the AT&T Reno-Sparks phone book or go to and click on the "during the fire" tab or download "Fire Adapted Communities: The Next Step in Wildfire Preparedness" publication.

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