Team wraps up fire prevention work

The Student Conservation Association is finishing its pilot project of educating homeowners about fire safety and defensible space.

With a goal of 300 home evaluations, the interns are 18 away and said they expect to reach it by the end of the month when the project ends.

Team leader Brian Van Kley said,"The project was an overwhelming success. Our partners that are helping us out are asking for three more cites next year."

A new team will come back next year to compare the photos and data taken this year and determine if homeowners acted on our suggestions, Van Kley said.

Julia Olszewski said she will go home to Cleveland, Ohio, for two weeks and then leave again for Cape Cod, Mass. for an 11 month AmeriCorp project.

Brian Grady said he plans on going back to Ohio and work in a state park.

"I want to get into more fire work because I think we connected with a lot of different communities," Grady said.

The seven interns evaluated homes in Fish Springs, Pine Nut, Ruhenstroth and the Virginia Highlands.

"It was good working with homeowners in a positive effort to reduce wildfire risks," Charmain McMillan said. "It's been a great experience."

Chris Warren is a creative writing major and said he enjoyed,"kicking back and having fun with the other interns."

Warren also added that he was able to do some fiction writing about his summer internship.

The different entities the team worked with this summer were the Storey County and East Fork fire departments, Bureau of Land Management, Sierra Front, Project Impact, Fire Safe Highlands and the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension.

Jeremy Ray was looking for something different to do this summer to help him with his environmental studies degree.

"We didn't know exactly what we were getting into at first, but we figured it out quickly and worked efficiently," Ray said.

Matt Nishida from San Jose, Calif., said he enjoyed helping the community the most this summer.

Van Kley summed up the project by saying," This whole project has been about engaging young people in hands on service to the community. It's helped them build leadership skills and self reliance."


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