Backyard burning awaits precipitation |

Backyard burning awaits precipitation

It is going on two months since the last measurable precipitation fell in Minden on Aug. 24 and dry conditions are expected to continue into the near future.

On Thursday afternoon, roughly an acre of scrubland along Eldon Way burned. Firefighters had the blaze knocked down within a half-hour, but it’s a reminder of how dry Western Nevada has been.

Last year, East Fork Fire Protection District opened backyard burning on Oct. 12, but that has been delayed due to the lack of precipitation.

“As seen these past couple weeks, we still have a high potential for wildland fires in the area because the vegetation is still so dry,” East Fork Fire Marshal Amy Ray said. “Currently, we are not able to open backyard burning until we get some moisture in the area and we see a decrease in temperature and winds, and an increase in fuel moisture.”

Ray said that among the factors fire officials take into account are fuel moisture, temperature, air quality and fire behavior.

Backyard burning falls under different rules than agricultural burns.

“We respond to a large number of backyard burns that get out of control, so we need to be sure it is safe for the community to open burning,” Ray said. “Per the State, we have the ability to allow burning into December, so we still have time, and we will try to open it again in the spring.”

Ray said that the district receives several calls a day inquiring about backyard burning.

“Hopefully we will be able to allow it soon, but that depends on the weather,” she said. “When we open it, a permit will be required prior to anyone being able to burn on their property.”

Both Carson City and Lyon County have also delayed their backyard burning.