After nature’s fireworks set off the Pine Nut volcano last year, we should be forgiven for hoping today’s Fourth of July holiday passes quietly.
Today marks the anniversary of the Bison’s fire beginning. Two weeks later, firefighters were still working to wrap the fire up.
The largest fire in Douglas County history forced evacuations on both sides of the mountain chain that serves as Carson Valley’s eastern boundary.
Bison lasted a long time and frightened a lot of people, but in the end it didn’t take any homes and there were only four reported injuries, and none of those was close to life-threatening.
The lightning that struck the Pine Nuts could just as easily have struck in the Sierra. In fact, it did happen on Tuesday, but in a place where firefighters could respond quickly and easily.
A lightning strike in a less accessible location could spell disaster.
There’s nothing we can do to prevent lightning strikes, but we can all keep an eye out for smoke. If firefighters can respond early, they can keep a little fire from becoming larger. More important for we humans is that we don’t become part of the problem. That means being extra careful with fire.
Fire restrictions are in place on all public lands across the Sierra Front. With a third year of drought and just enough moisture in the mountains to help grow some extra cheat grass, we’re ripe for another big wildfire.
We’d rather that next year be the second anniversary of Douglas County’s biggest fire, not the anniversary of an even bigger fire.
Let’s make this Fourth of July holiday a safe one for us, our neighbors and the wildlife we enjoy in this special place.