It may have snowed on Tuesday, but that afternoon East Fork Fire Protection District trustees were looking forward to the inevitable arrival of fire season.
The district plans to implement regulations included in the Wildland Urban Interface, which would require defensible space and water in those areas that experience increased fire danger.
On Tuesday, trustees introduced a new regulation and plan to bring it back in May, with implementation on July 1, with trustees’ approval.
Former East Fork Fire Investigator Terry Taylor thanked trustees for considering adopting the regulations.
“From my perspective and my career with the fire district and also around the state being involved in the Fire Prevention Association of Nevada, we greatly appreciate your finally joining the other communities around us in adopting the WUI Code,” Taylor said. “One of the things I’ve found in my unpaid lobbying for fire prevention is a pretty much constant drum beat by contractors and developers that there is too much divergence in codes. By adopting the WUI Code or going through that process Douglas County joining other communities to establish a basic standard of fire safety for residential and commercial construction.”
Key to implementing the regulations are a map of wildland danger prepared by the Nevada Division of Forestry that is viewable by members of the public at nevadaresourcesandwildfireinfo.com
to determine their relative fire danger.
The defensible space requirement runs 30-100 feet depending on the level fire danger listed at the National Resources and Fire Information Portal.
Builders will also be required to supply water in some form to help extinguish both house fires in the interface and protect homes from wildland fires.
Key to the approvals are those included in Chapter 5 of the regulations, in which residential fire sprinklers will be required in those properties in areas of extreme fire danger that don’t have 150 feet of maintained defensible space.
Under the new regulations, residents would be required to submit a vegetation management plan and undergo additional inspections through construction to enforce the regulations.
Though the regulations mainly focus on new construction, any remodel that includes more than 25 percent of the structure’s square footage would be subject to the rules.
When the district was adopting the rules for sprinklers last year, Fire Inspector Patrick Mooneyhan said insurers mentioned that with the county’s wildfire threat, having the wildland code implemented could help residents with their insurance.