Residents preparing for fire season
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One of the biggest questions Nevada residents face in a wildfire is whether to flee in the face of approaching flames.
Unlike California, only Nevada’s governor can order an evacuation, but firefighters and deputies strongly suggest residents take off when they’re informed of the danger.
Alpine View residents are being asked to participate in a community evacuation drill 8 a.m. to noon today.
With the first red flag warning for extreme fire danger wrapping up Thursday, and grass ignited by sparks from a grinder on Monday, the chances of a wildfire are increasing with each passing summer day.
The drill will be supported by the East Fork Fire District, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Douglas County Community Emergency Response Team.
Teams from Search and Rescue will go door-to-door notifying residents of the voluntary, practice drill and advising them to collect some essential items and proceed to Jacks Valley School, if they wish to participate. After checking in at the school, residents can proceed to James Lee Park for a community picnic.
“After seeing the devastating fires, no matter the cause, whether power, fireworks or accidental, you need to be prepared if you need to evacuate,” East Fork Fire Marshal Steve Eisele said. “You should have your house prepared so it makes it a little safer.”
He said the wind has caused the grass to cure so that it’s particularly flammable. Grass fires move very fast and it’s easy to be caught unawares.
“People should have their fuels cut and mitigated, and just be prepared in general in case there’s a fire and they have to evacuate,” he said. Eisele stressed it’s important to have personal documents saved off site along with an inventory of property.
In the event of a wildfire, Douglas County deputies will try to go door-to-door to alert residents, but it’s always possible they’ll miss someone.
“We can’t stress enough that although we will use every possible resource available in the event of an evacuation, the safety of each individual and family is additionally their own responsibility,” said Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley. “If asked to evacuate, please do so.”
Undersheriff Ron Elges suggested resident register their cell phones with the county’s reverse 911 system to get notifications in case of a fire.
“The sheriff’s office wants to help all Douglas County residents, especially those living in the Tahoe Basin, Genoa, Holbrook and Pine Nut Mountain areas prepare for an evacuation in the event of a fire,” he said. “Do not wait to be ordered to evacuate. Timing is everything and we strongly encourage residents not to wait too long.”
One thing residents can do ahead of time is to establish a plan that includes several evacuation routes and making sure vehicles have enough fuel in an emergency.
The sheriff’s office asks that residents be aware of their surroundings, be flexible and adapt to circumstances as required.