During the worst of the Tamarack Fire last year, Highway 395 was closed through the Pine Nut Mountains, isolating Topaz Ranch Estates residents from Carson Valley.
When the order to evacuate came, south county residents found themselves having go to Smith Valley to find shelter.
Residents of the southern Douglas County community are invited to participate in a 6-8 p.m. June 7 session at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Center as part of the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Campaign.
“We have to be realistic,” said Christina Restaino, assistant professor and Living With Fire Program director. “We know we are going to have wildfires in Nevada this summer, and that evacuations will be necessary. It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s just a matter of when and where.”
To help prepare for wildfire and evacuations, University of Nevada, Reno Extension’s Living With Fire Program and numerous partners are offering a “Preparing for Wildfire and Evacuation” session as part of the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Campaign.
“There will be a lot of good information that many Nevadans can tune into online and benefit from, but we really wanted to come in and do some presentations during this year’s Wildfire Awareness Campaign at some of the high fire hazard areas in the state,” said Living With Fire Program Manager Jamie Roice-Gomes. “There’s information specific to these communities that residents need to know, so we’ve partnered with local fire departments, sheriff’s offices and others, to try to make sure residents are as informed as possible to keep them safe when wildfires occur.”
History has shown Topaz Ranch Estates to be at high risk for wildfires. Last summer’s Tamarack Fire burned 68,000 acres, prompting evacuations at Topaz Ranch Estates.
Extension and its Living With Fire Program partners will be holding more events during the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Campaign, which runs through October. In addition, Extension has worked with its partners to update the Wildfire Evacuation Checklist, which contains information on how to prepare ahead of time for evacuation, as well as what to do when actually leaving your home. Extension has also produced two new publications on coping with wildfire smoke: Living With Smoke, geared to helping Nevadans protect their own human health during wildfire smoke events; and, for those with animals that are not house pets, Best management practices for livestock and equine during wildfire smoke events.
For more information on events and how to reduce the wildfire threat, visit LivingWithFire.com or email Roice-Gomes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call or notify Paul Lessick, Extension civil rights and compliance coordinator, at email@example.com or 702-257-5577 at least three days prior to scheduled events.