Preparing homes for wildfires |

Preparing homes for wildfires

Flames threaten Highway 395 in the Aug. 14, 2007, Power Dam Fire near the base of Jake's Hill across from Ruhenstroth.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office


What: Fire adapted communities meeting

When: 10 a.m.

Where: Fish Springs Fire House


Wildfires are possible year around, but there is a time of year when dry conditions and high temperatures contribute to the probability of ignition and that’s coming soon.

Fire season in Western Nevada depends on winter precipitation, which has been above average this year.

Generally, the wetter the winter, the later in the summer increased wildland fire chances arrive.

Wetter conditions in lower elevations have encouraged plant growth across the central Great Basin, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Douglas County has seen wildfires as early as May and as late as October, but most of the largest wildfires have occurred in the summer months.

In preparation for increased wildland fire danger, members of the Pine Nut Creek-Blue Bird Chapter of Nevada Fire Adapted Communities is hosting a community meeting on how to prepare homes for wildfires in Fish Springs on Saturday.

Pine Nut resident Terri Clerk said the 10 a.m. meeting at the Fish Springs Fire House will feature speakers to discuss a variety of topics dealing with wildfire.

Those include Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Chief Elaine Pace, Nevada Fire Adapted Communities Network Coordinator Michael Beaudoin, Living With Fire Manager Jamie Roice-Gomesin and East Fork Fire Protection District Chief Tod Carlini.

Douglas is home to three chapters of the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities. In addition to Pine Nut Creek-Blue Bird, there are chapters in Alpine View Estates and Holbrook Highlands.

The Pine Nut Mountains have been particularly hard hit by wildfires over the past decade with 40,000 acres burned. The TRE fire burned 7,500 acres and claimed two homes and several outbuildings after a controlled burn reignited in 2012. The 2013 Bison Fire claimed 24,136 acres and was the largest fire in recorded Douglas County history.

It has been 23 years since the Autumn Hills Fire claimed four homes at the base of Kingsbury Grade. That fire claimed 3,400 acres in the Carson Range on June 23, 1996. A day short of a dozen years earlier, on June 24, 1984, the Indian Creek Fire claimed several homes and 16,600 acres in Fredericksburg and Alpine County.

According to Living With Fire produced by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the key to saving homes in a wildfire is 30 feet of defensible space.

For information, contact Clark at 782-2965 or