Volume 51 | September/October 2018
Welcome to the September/October Network Pulse Newsletter. The Network Advisory Board is excited to announce the release of the Draft Community Leader Handbook and some success stories in fire hazard reduction.
Network Chapter Leader Handbook and Other Updates from the October Advisory Board Meeting
The Network Advisory Board is seeking comments or edits of the Draft Community Chapter Leader Handbook
       The Nevada Network’s advisory board met on October 8 th and made great progress on several important items for the Network. The Advisory Board received a report from Network Coordinator, Michael Beaudoin, on the Network’s accomplishments since he began the position in February 2018. The full report can be seen here . Highlights of the Network’s accomplishments include:
-       The Establishment and facilitation of FAC working groups in Douglas, Lyon, and Washoe Counties.
-       Approval of Network membership recruitment documents and Network Operating Manual
-       Creation of a state-wide CWPP database and CWPP resource website
-       Creation of a new NDF and Network Defensible Space Collector Application
-       Completion of the NDF- UNR Cooperative Extension Network transition MOU

The Network advisory board also approved the Chapter applications for two chapters in Douglas County. Holbrook Highlands recertification application and Alpine View Estates new Chapter application were both approved. The Network is still seeking new chapter proposals. Please contact the Network Coordinator via phone at 775-684-2519 or via email at MBeaudoin@Forestry.NV.Gov if you are interested in establishing a Network chapter in your community.

           The Network Advisory Board reviewed the draft of the Network Chapter Leader Handbook. The Advisory Board is seeking comments and edits of the draft handbook from community leaders by November 11 th . The draft handbook can be found here .

The Network Chapter Leader Handbook provides information for new and current chapter leaders on:
  • Steps to Establish a New Network Community Chapter
  • Tips on preparing for Community Chapter Meetings
  • The Benefits and Expectations of the Community Chapter
  • Mini-guide to completing or updating the Community Wildfire Protection Plan
Home Hardening/ Built Zone Tips: Landscape Mulches
The exterior of this home ignited by a fire that started in the landscaping mulch. Photo courtesy of National Fire Protection Agency

The landscape around your home might include mulched flower beds or mulched open space. Mulch is important for our garden and the landscape around our home, because it can reduce the water requirements of landscape plants, reduce the occurrence of weeds, and control dust. Yet, many types of mulches are combustible and are a poor choice for the area immediately within 30 feet of our home. The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension evaluated the combustibility of eight types of landscape mulch and came up with some key findings about landscape mulches. 
Results from University of Nevada-Cooperative Extension Study entitled "The Combustibility of Landscape Mulches"
Their findings included:
  • All tested mulch types are flammable, but composted wood chips demonstrated the shortest flame height and slowest rate of spread.
  • Shredded rubber, pine needles, and western red cedar demonstrated the most hazardous fire behavior.
  • The rate of spread of the composted wood chips was measured at 0.3 feet per minute, whereas western red cedar was measured at 47.9 feet per minute.

 Some general recommendations for mulching within your 100 feet defensible space include:
  • Replacing the flammable mulch within 5 feet of the home with non-combustible rock or gravel mulch.
  • Ignition-resistant plant materials such as low-growing flowers or a well-maintained lawn can also be used within 5 feet of the home.
  • Pavers and concrete can be used to break up fuels between your landscape mulch and your home 

A copy of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension study can be found here.
Does Wildfire Mitigation Work? A Fuel Reduction Success Story
Mr. and Mrs. Loyd's proper maintenance of their defensible space and NDF fuel reduction efforts saved their home
On August 17, 2018 a bird on a powerline started a fire in southwest Washoe Valley. In the end, the Berry fire burned 8 acres and destroyed a barn. A big thank you goes out to all the firefighters that brought the fire under control.
One of the homes, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Loyd, had flames within 20 feet of their front door. Mr. Loyd does work every year to reduce the fuels around their home. The home has a composite roof, a concrete border, and a deck that is made from synthetic materials. He stacks his firewood away from the home and cleans up any debris that an ember could ignite.

The West Washoe Wildfire Protection Group, working with Nevada Division of Forestry, applied for, and was awarded a Hazardous Fuels Grant through the US Forest Service. It was with this grant that NDF was able to send crews and equipment to Mr. Lloyd’s home and improve upon the great work Mr. Loyd had started.Mr. Loyd is convinced that the combination of his & NDF's fuel reduction efforts not only helped to save his home, but gave firefighters the room and safe access to engage the fire.
As a program within the Nevada Division of Forestry, the Nevada Network works closely with NDF staff to collaborate on fuel reduction programs, wildfire protection planning, and community outreach. For more examples of successful wildfire mitigation projects please consider visiting the national Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network here. The Nevada Network works with the FAC Learning Network to share success stories, develop collaborative partnerships, and learn about the successes of similar state-wide FAC programs.
Network Seeking Recertification of Existing Chapters
Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities logo. (Gray State of Nevada shape surrounded by icons of fire adapted community members.)
Existing Network community chapters within the new Nevada Network coverage area that achieved chapter or community group membership are being asked to recertify their membership with the Network. The Network Coordinator is here to assist you with the new application process so your chapter can continue to work at reducing the threat of wildfire. The Network Coordinator will be contacting chapters in need of recertification to help facilitate the application process. If you have any questions regarding chapter status or application materials please contact the Network Coordinator via phone at 775-684-2519 or via email at MBeaudoin@Forestry.NV.Gov
Nevada Division of Forestry| The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities | MBeaudoin@nv.forestry.gov