Volume 50 | August 2018
Welcome to the August 2018 Network Pulse Newsletter. The Network has made great progress on community outreach and education on wildfire preparedness in partnership with local fire protection districts this month.
The Network Partners with Truckee Meadows FPD to Provide Homeowner Preparedness Meeting
Coordinator Beaudoin addresses the Verdi and Mogul communities. Photo courtesy of Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District
The Network recently partnered with Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) to provide a Network and Community Wildfire Protection Plan informational meeting to the residents of Verdi and Mogul on August 14 th . Verdi and Mogul represent areas with heavier fuels along their wildland-urban interface (WUI). The Gold Ranch Fire in early August prompted concern among the residents and inspired several residents to want to form new Network chapters.

           Network Coordinator, Michael Beaudoin, spoke to the seminar participants about the importance of the Network. Fire behavior has become more unpredictable and fire season is a misnomer as catastrophic fires occur during the winter months. Verdi, like much of Nevada, is experiencing an expansion of its WUI as more residents move into the area. Retired North Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Mike Brown also spoke about the importance of the Network and noted that these new residents are armed with very little knowledge about wildfire or their responsibilities to maintain their defensible space as homeowners within the WUI. The Network and partner local fire districts will continue to work together to educate these new residents about the threat wildfire poses to their communities. 
Truckee Meadows Fire Chief Moore talks about the importance of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Photo courtesy of Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District
Program participants also received an update from Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Chief Charles Moore, Deputy Chief Beaver, and Public Information Officer Adam Mayberry about the projects the fire district is implementing to help Verdi and Mogul residents better prepare for wildfires. The fire district will be a key partner for Network chapters in the area and an important resource for updating the area’s CWPP.

           Mr. Beaudoin has been working closely with several communities and local fire protection districts to provide educational seminars and establish fire adapted community working groups. Working groups help community leaders and fire district staff to identify fire adapted concepts, such as defensible space inspections, that they can improve or incorporate into their community to help them become more fire adapted. If your community is interested in establishing a Network Chapter or are interested in an educational seminar please contact the Network Coordinator via phone at 775-684-2519 or via email at MBeaudoin@Forestry.NV.Gov
Home Hardening Tips: Garages
An example of a new construction aluminum garage door. Photo courtesy of University of California-Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

       Installing or retrofitting home-hardening features on your home will better prepare yourself and your home for the threat of wildfire. Removing your cedar shake roof and replacing it with a composite material is a great example of a home hardening retrofit that increases your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. However, your garage might be a bit different as many garage doors are made of fire-resistant components. Whether you have a garage door that is made from combustible or non-combustible material, you can still improve its ability to resist wildfires.

Hardening your garage to withstand a wildfire is more about the actions you take before the fire threatens your neighborhood. Some things to consider about your garage to better help your home survive a wildfire include:

- Installing weather stripping around and under the garage door to prevent embers from blowing in during a fire. Embers can fly off of the fire front from several miles away and flying embers are responsible for most wildfire-caused home ignitions.
-Store all combustible and flammable materials away from ignition sources.
-Install the backup battery for your garage opener so it opens should you need to evacuate when the power is out.
-If you do not have a battery back-up practice opening your garage door manually during your routine evacuation rehearsal.
-Have a fire extinguisher and tools such as a flashlight, shovel, rake, and bucket available for fire emergencies in your garage.
-Completely close your garage door and leave it unlocked. Do not leave any air gaps when you evacuate your home. This will protect your home from flying embers.
-If you have to leave a vehicle behind, park the vehicle in the garage facing towards the door. Roll up your windows, place the car keys in the ignition, and leave it unlocked.

More information on hardening your home to survive a wildfire can be found on the Living With Fire website at http://www.livingwithfire.info
Elements of Success for your Fire Adapted Community Chapter
A respected community leader is essential for chapter success. Photo courtesy of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

           It takes several key elements of success to make noticeable progress on improving your community’s fire adapted practices and establishing a successful Network chapter. A central leader or community “sparkplug” is key to your community’s success and is only one of several important elements of success for you to consider when establishing and managing your Network chapter.

1.    Respected Community Leader:  Your chapter and community needs a respected community leader that is well informed and knowledgeable about the wildfire threat. Our community leaders are an asset and provide valuable community organizing skills to the Network. Potential community and chapter leaders should not worry about their wildfire knowledge as the Network is here to help you and your community improve their knowledge about wildfire. The Living With Fire Program also offers great resources to help improve your wildfire knowledge bank at http://www.livingwithfire.info

2.     Know your Neighborhood : Make connections with your neighbors. The first responder to a fire in your neighborhood is often your neighbor. Become familiar with the layout of your neighborhood and all potential evacuation routes. A great way to get to know your neighborhood better is to host a defensible space inspection day with the Network.

3.     Build Partnerships: Reach out to your local fire protection district, the Nevada Division of Forestry, or federal agencies to solicit their technical knowledge and input. Approach interactions with partner agencies in a collaborative mindset and strive for projects that provide a mutual benefit for all involved parties. Developing a strong working relationship with your local fire protection district will provide many benefits during your community’s grant development and wildfire planning process.
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
Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities to Offer Community Workshop
Newsletter readers that live in the Tahoe Basin, please consider joining the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities for a Lake Tahoe Fire Preparation Workshop. The workshop will help prepare your family and home for wildfire. The workshop is free and open to the public of all ages.

Lake Tahoe Wildfire Preparation Workshop

September 13th, 2018 | 5:30-7PM
North Tahoe Fire Protection District
222 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City, CA 96145

Guest Speakers Include:

Ann Grant | Skyland Neighborhood Fire Adapted Community Leader
Susie Kocher | University of California Cooperative Extension
Chief Mike Schwartz | North Tahoe Fire Protection District
Carlie Teague | Tahoe Resource Conservation District
And More

For more information about the Tahoe Network of Fire Adapted Communities please visit: http://tahoe.livingwithfire.info/

Nevada Division of Forestry| The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities | MBeaudoin@nv.forestry.gov