Fire Safe grants top $250,000 | RecordCourier.com

Fire Safe grants top $250,000

by Kurt Hildebrand

Douglas County Fire Safe Councils have been awarded more than $250,000 in grants by the Nevada Division of Forestry. The seven grants ranged from $18,000 for Skyland to $58,000 for Glenbrook.

One of the larger recipients was the Holbrook Junction Fire Safe Council, which was awarded $42,000 in matching grants to clear brush and educate residents about living with wildfires, according to the NDF.

Janice Roberts, president of the Holbrook chapter said the group is working down to the last of its present grant.

Last year Holbrook residents pulled 100 tons of brush to create defensible space around their homes. Money from grants helped pay to chip the brush and turn it into mulch.

The work is designed to clear brush from around homes so that firefighters can defend them in case of a wildfire. Removing dead brush from property can also help reduce fire danger.

“This year we’ll mainly work with absentee owners and see if we can get them on the ball,” Roberts said. “We’re excited we got the money, but we do have to find ways to match it. That means working and filling in-kind forms as well as monetary donations in some cases.”

Roberts said the group has been very successful in the past and now is the time to prepare for the next round of work.

“Two years ago we were very successful,” she said. “I had beaucoup dollars and people turne din their in-kind forms. I’m hoping the ball keeps rolling. Whether we’re able to use the whole amount depends on what gets done. We only found out officially last week.”

Now is the time to begin clearing defensible space, removing dead trees and trimming others.

“Right now is a great time to work on the property before fire season hits,” she said. “Bark beetles start attacking trees that have been trimmed when it gets warmer. If you work on the property while its still cool, there’s less damage.”

After the work is done, Roberts said the difference is obvious.

“It’s like night and day to see what a difference this has made in the properties as people try to make their homes as fire safe as possible,” she said. “In Double Springs, you could actually see dead and dying trees everywhere. Now you can’s see the dead trees. People are really making a constant effort to thin out the trees. It’s good for the trees too, especially in drought season. If you live in this environment, you need to take responsibility to take care of your property for the community.”

Roberts said it doesn’t take much to affect the chances a community will survive a wildfire.

“If I can get everyone involved in one little area, it can really make a difference,” she said. “People have spent their hard-earned money to build a home in this environment.”

Recipients of Nevada Division of Forestry fuels reduction grants:

• Glenbrook, Douglas County: $58,000

• Upper Kingsbury, Douglas County: $45,000

• Holbrook Chapter, Douglas County: $42,000

• Lake Village, Douglas County: $40,000

• Genoa Chapter, Douglas County: $20,000

• Skyland, Douglas County: $18,000

$265,000 for Douglas County