Fire restrictions will be in effect for much of Nevada this weekend, except for White Pine and Lincoln counties, eastern Nye County and the extreme northwest corner of the state.
A heavy buildup of dead and dry vegetation throughout much of Nevada has greatly increased the danger of wildland fire. A wet winter and spring produced a bumper crop of vegetation, with heavy infestations of red brome in the south and cheatgrass throughout the rest of the state.
The Bureau of Land Management Nevada joins its interagency partners in urging the public to be extremely careful when visiting the public lands.
"As you head outdoors this summer, please make fire safety your first priority," said BLM Nevada Acting State Director Amy Lueders. "We want you to enjoy yourselves outdoors this summer, but please help us to protect your public lands and your family and friends.
"Firefighter and human safety are our first concern. The extreme danger existing in Nevada through this weekend and the rest of the summer cannot be underestimated."
Evening dry lightning storms across much of Northern and central Nevada on July 15 sparked large wildfires that continue to burn in Elko County. Hundreds of thousands of acres of dried-out red brome burned in Southern Nevada following the dry lightning storms of June 22-23.
Large areas of cheatgrass have already dried out across most of the state.
The slightest spark will set these grasslands blazing, carrying the wildfires to sagebrush and forests damaged by insects and disease.
According to Lueders, anything that can cause a spark can ignite a wildfire, including a vehicle's catalytic converter, discharging firearms, a tossed cigarette or welding.
"Please be sure to thoroughly extinguish all campfires, making sure the ashes are cool to the touch. And make sure the spark arresters on your off-highway vehicles are working," she added. "These safety measures are especially important in the areas under fire restrictions."
Fire restrictions prohibit
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire except a portable stove using gas or pressurized liquid fuel, outside of a developed recreation site or campground (except by permit).
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or within a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
• Welding, or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
• Using or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.
• Using fireworks or firing a tracer or other incendiary device, without a permit.
Specific information for your area is available from local firefighting agencies.