Fire weather watch prompts caution | RecordCourier.com

Fire weather watch prompts caution

Staff Reports

With a fire weather watch starting 1 p.m. Sunday thanks to a strong cold front rolling into Western Nevada, fire officials are urging residents to be careful with fire.

National Weather Service forecasters issued the watch on Thursday morning for gusty winds 30-45 mph starting Sunday afternoon.

Carson Valley and other areas south of Highway 50 may not see critical wind conditions until Monday.

Between the winds and humidity of 8-15 percent, any spark could result in a fire quickly growing in size and intensity before firefighters can respond.

Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Lisa Ross said that so far this summer there have been 50 human-caused and 30 lightning-caused fires within the Carson City BLM District for a total of approximately 6,668 acres.

That includes the 441-acre Canyon Fire that burned above Topaz Ranch Estates on Aug. 28.

“The public needs to be mindful on days when critical fire weather conditions warrant a red flag warning or a fire weather watch because of high winds and dry conditions,” said Acting (BLM and BIA) Interagency Fire Management Officer Jonathan Palma. “During these extremely critical weather conditions, a small fire can rapidly escalate to one that is out of control.”

Red flag warnings and fire weather watches are issued when critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A red flag warning indicates a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures that can create explosive fire growth potential. A fire weather watch means dangerous fire weather conditions are forecasted to occur. Both are issued by the National Weather Service.

After a period of dry weather this week, strong winds are predicted Sunday and Monday which could cause significant fire weather concerns. Please plan accordingly when planning outdoor activities and be vigilant of the increased chance of starting a wild fire which could rapidly become out of control.

Fire restrictions were implemented within the BLM Carson City District on July 13.

Fire restrictions prohibit the following:

■ Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire (using wood, charcoal or any other material), campfire or stove fire except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel outside of a developed fee campground or picnic area (except by permit).

■ Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed campground or picnic area.

■ Operating vehicles or other motorized equipment off of existing paved, gravel or dirt roads.

■ Welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.

■ Using or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.

■ Possession or use of fireworks or any other incendiary device.

■ Use of tracer rounds (always prohibited), steel-core ammunition, or exploding targets, including Binary Explosive Targets while recreational shooting.

At the first sign of a wildfire, contact Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center at 775-883-5995 or call 911.