With cooler temperatures, we are spending more time indoors. If you live in a fire prone area, now is the perfect time to familiarize yourself with the Living With Fire website at www.LivingWithFire.info. If you have been to the website, but it has been awhile, visit it again because new material is always being added.
The website was created in 2005 as a component of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Living With Fire Program. The purpose of Living With Fire is to teach Nevadans how to live more safely in high fire hazard environments. It was developed by Nevada’s local, state and federal firefighting agencies and Cooperative Extension. As a result, the Living With Fire programs and materials are tailor-fitted to Nevada conditions.
Some of the website highlights include:
Fire Hazard Assessments: Have you ever wondered what the fire hazard rating for your community is? In 2004 and 2005, 250 Nevada communities located in the wildland-urban interface were assessed in terms of their wildfire risk and hazard. The results of this analysis were presented on a by-county basis in report form. Specifically, the reports described the wildfire hazards present in each community, identified firefighting resource needs (equipment and infrastructure), presented fuel hazard mapping for high and extreme fuel hazard communities and proposed hazard mitigation projects. In some parts of the state, the reports have been updated. All of the reports can be viewed from this page.
Learning Center: Go to the Learning Center page and you’ll have access to a full array of educational materials including publications and videos available for download. They address topics such as creating defensible space, fire resistant building materials, forest health, returning home after the fire and many more subjects. A unique feature is available under “Testimonials.” You’ll find about a dozen informal video interviews with homeowners and firefighters conducted immediately after a fire. They share their eye witness accounts on what they saw and did during the fire. Some of the materials are also available in Spanish and multiple copies can be ordered by going to “Contact Us” ─ get a supply and distribute them to your neighbors.
Be Ember Aware: One of the most popular website features is “Be Ember Aware.” On this page is an interactive graphic of a house with twenty flame symbols. Each symbol denotes a location that is vulnerable to flying embers during a wildfire. Click on the symbol and text appears that describes appropriate mitigation measures.
Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) Template: An important action for a community interested in wildfire threat reduction to undertake is preparation or updating of a CWPP. A CWPP describes the wildfire threat to a community and offers recommendations to reduce the hazard. The website has a section devoted to preparing CWPPs including an interactive template to simplify the process.
The Network: The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities or “The Network” is a new organization created to help bring stakeholders in Nevada’s wildland-urban interface fire issue together to take action. The Network page contains background information about the organization, its purpose and membership applications.
The Living With Fire website is one of the best tools available to Nevadans in their efforts to reduce the wildfire threat. In addition to the Nevada website, there is also a Living With Fire-Lake Tahoe Basin site at www.LivingWithFire.info/tahoe. If you have ideas for additional content for the websites, please let us know by using the “Contact Us” feature.
Ed Smith is the Natural Resource Specialist with Cooperative Extension. For questions about your plants, contact a Master Gardener at 775-336-0265 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.growyourownnevada.com.