Officials make cooperative plan to deal with potentially bad fire season

Fire officials from a half dozen agencies told Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday, while they may not have the biggest staffs and crews, they are all working together to handle what many fear will be a severe fire season.

Weather Service officials said Nevada has had about half the precipitation it should during the last four years with winter temperatures the warmest on record since 1895. And they said there is really no indication things will be any better this summer.

Bob Roper of the Nevada Division of Forestry said the situation is complicated by the increasing spread of houses into wildlands.

To deal with fires, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, BLM, Nevada Division of Forestry, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service have all joined with numerous local agencies in cooperative agreements to assist each other this fire season.

Conservation and Natural Resources Director Leo Drozdoff said, “the ability to call on each other” is the state’s greatest advantage.

Sandoval said he doesn’t know if this amount of collaboration is happening elsewhere but he said it will help the state do its best to survive the fire season.

“But we’re hopeful it’s not going to be a severe fire season,” he said.

Several agency officials pointed out that Nevada had a pretty mild fire season last summer.

Roper said public help is also important including that people follow fire safe rules to clear brush around their homes and take other precautions.

He added that, “if the message to evacuate comes, get out of the way.”

Chris Theisen of the Toiyabe National Forest said it’s important for people “to be wise with fire.”

He said he expects that, once again, the forest service will ban campfires this summer.


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