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Natural Resources Programs

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

Living With Fire logo

Firefighters stand near their firetrucks Firefighters teach community members about wildfire during Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month. Photo by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

Collaborative monthlong effort encourages homeowners to reduce the wildfire threat


The wildfire threat to Nevada communities is significant and increasing, with 265,156 acres burned in 2016. Key to reducing this threat is an aware and proactive public who implement the necessary pre-fire activities, those actions that improve house survivability during wildfire. In Nevada, there is a diverse group of entities who have a role in promoting wildfire awareness and assisting in the adoption of pre-fire activities, including homeowners, firefighting organizations, elected officials, schools, Cooperative Extension, landscape management professionals, community leaders and others. Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program established Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week/Month as a means to expand the education program and launch a coordinated, statewide wildfire awareness campaign each year. The efforts are continued throughout the year.

Response/What’s Been Done

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month began as a weeklong statewide effort in 2005 and expanded in 2014 to the entire month of May. It’s a collaborative effort coordinated by Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program, with participation by program partners including local, state and federal firefighting agencies and many others. Activities are designed to build awareness and encourage homeowners to take action to reduce the wildfire threat. The 2017 message, communicated at events and via a coordinated marketing campaign, was “Wildfire! Prepare. Anticipate. Evacuate.” This emphasized the importance of pre-planning and action for safe, effective evacuation during a wildfire. A total of 9,974 people attended one or more of the 189 events, and marketing efforts extended into all 17 Nevada counties. The program audience includes homeowners living in high-wildfire-threat areas, firefighters who protect those communities and others who provide services to help them prepare for wildfire.

Results/Impact and Partners

In 2017:

  • Eight other states joined Nevada in securing a multi-state proclamation in observance of Wildfire Awareness Month. Living With Fire helped initiate this effort nine years ago.
  • 189 events or activities were held statewide by Cooperative Extension and partnering organizations.
  • 9,974 people attended events.
  • 866,120 indirect contacts were made via newspaper articles, school flyers, social media efforts and other methods of communications.
  • 23 proclamations were issued, including 17 from Nevada counties, two from municipalities, and one from the Nevada League of Cities.
  • 129 households participated in Junk the Junipers events.
  • 258 truckloads of ornamental junipers and other flammable material were collected at Junk the Junipers events.
  • 149 runners participated in the Nevada Wildfire Fire Awareness Multihour Trail Run, which raised $4,400 for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
  • Reported in-kind contributions from federal and nonfederal sources totaled $29,909.

179 program partners collaborated on Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month activities, including Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators, Nevada League of Cities, Bodine’s Casino, CarsonNow, Barrick-Cortez Mine, Winnemucca City Fire Department, Panaca Market, Pioneer Crossing, Battle Mountain Elementary School, North Lyon Fire Protection District, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, KKOH Radio, Washoe County Emergency Management, Cumulus Media and Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month with its many events and activities has served as a template for other states to emulate. For example, the South Dakota Wildland Fire Division started a Junk the Juniper event modeled after Nevada’s. Wildfire Awareness Month messages and graphics have been shared at no cost with other states over the years for adaptation into their own Wildfire Awareness campaigns.



people attended events in 2017


reported in-kind contributions from federal and nonfederal sources in 2017


raised for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in 2017

“I have been on the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month planning committee for several years now, and every year it just seems to keep growing with more partners and more events statewide. I’m not aware of any other state having anything quite like it.”

— Rodd Rummel, Carson City Fire Department

Contact: Sonya Sistare, 775-887-2252

Natural Resources Programs

Programs Program Information


University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) developed Bootstraps, a high-risk youth program that helps teens return to school and/or gain meaningful work.

Collaborative Resource Stewardship improves rangeland management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) has helped lead Collaborative Resource Stewardship (CRS) efforts in northeastern Nevada over the past seven years, resulting in a model for other states and areas.

Eagles & Agriculture

Two eagles standing with cattle in a field

Integrated Pest Management

Nevada Department of Agriculture’s records show the use of traditional pesticides continues to increase in the state. Nevada’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps agricultural producers, land managers; pest control operators, homeowners and other pest managers learn about and use alternative pest management strategies in a variety of environments and settings.

Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities

Riparian Management students on a riverbank

Invasive Species (Weeds)

Weeds are one of the most serious threats to Nevada rangelands and lawns. Hundreds of Weed Warriors, Woad Warriors, and other volunteers have been trained by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) personnel in how to spot, control and eradicate noxious weeds.

Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages


Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

NEMO Nevada, Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials

The NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) program was originated in Connecticut and has spread nationwide. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers the NEMO program in Washoe County. The premise is that improvements in land-use planning can result in protection of water resources, which can negate the need to fix problems after the fact by applying best management practices. The program will help land-use decision-makers understand the nature of the nonpoint source pollution problem and its impact on their lives, towns and natural resource base. This enables them to plan for growth and development while addressing water quality issues through educated land use decisions.

Nevada Naturalist

Women kneeling near animal tracks on a trail

Nevada Range Management School

This University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program integrates sound science, collaboration and common sense to put public agency land managers, livestock permittees and other land users on the same page in terms of the range resource. It includes topics such as animal nutrition as related to range management.

Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month

Living With Fire logo

Nevada Youth Range Camp

High school students looking at sagebrush during a snowfall

Noxious Weed Control and Awareness Education

Noxious and invasive weeds are widespread throughout Nevada. They threaten agricultural and rangeland productivity. Rural counties are susceptible to significant adverse economic damage. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension education programs help individuals and weed control organization reduce the abundance of noxious weeds.

Walker Lake: Increasing Knowledge through Education

Walker Lake, located in central Nevada, is a natural resource of interest to diverse and often competing groups. Walker Lake: Increasing Knowledge Through Education, is a community-based program to educate adults and youth about Walker Lake issues.

Water Wise

Water Wise is a new, online educational program that complements University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s local watershed protection, storm water protection and land-use decision-maker education projects (NEMO-Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials).

Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training

The Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training Program is held several times a year, usually in late winter or spring. This eight-hour, two-day introductory-level training introduces participants to the principles of Integrated Weed Management and focuses on improving ability to identify noxious weeds of local importance. A small fee is charged for program materials, and the class can be videoconferenced to other locations upon request. Each year, several dozen people go through the training and become certified Weed Warriors. Pesticide applicators receive six Continuing Education Credits for attending this course. Each year in May during a community event in the Truckee Meadows, Weed Warrior volunteers help rid parks and riverfront areas of invasive thistles.