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June 22, 2018
So far, wildfires have brushed, but not yet struck in Douglas County. We don't think that luck is going to hold for very long.
The 500-acre Voltaire Fire was visible from Carson Valley. While the 1,200-acre Upper Colony Fire threatened homes in Smith Valley on Sunday, most of it climbed the Pine Nuts into Douglas County.
East Fork firefighters responded to both fires, as did federal, state and local agencies.
It has now been more than three weeks since any measurable precipitation fell in Minden.
That doesn't mean other places haven't received some rain across the county, but conditions are very dry.
That third wettest March, April and May in the 112 years records have been kept provided moisture to a crop of cheat grass that is covering hills across Western Nevada.
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Any source of ignition can cause that grass to burst into flames as we saw with the Election Day Voltaire fire. Initial reports from Upper Colony was that started out as a vehicle fire.
We haven't needed any lightning strikes to cause two pretty big fires over the last week, but at some point we have to assume they'll be starting wildland fires, too.
We can't do much about lightning, except remain vigilant, but there's lots we can do about human-caused blazes.
That's to be careful with fire in the wilderness. Spark suppressors on exhausts, not using ammunition that causes sparks when target shooting, resisting the urge to weld or grind medal on hot, dry days are among the easy ones.
If you're a homeowner in the wildland interface, check with http://www.livingwithfire.com to find ways to keep your home safe in big blaze.
It looks like we're going to have plenty of fires to deal with this summer without any extra help.