May 22, 2015

Welcome! Nevada Wildfire Awareness Month is in full-swing with activities occurring around the state (go to for a schedule of events). In this issue of the Pulse we'll share the results of the recent Wildfire Awareness Trail Run held at Washoe State Park, Natalie's encounter with junipers, a new social media tool for neighborhoods and more!

The Wildland Fire Awareness Trail Run began along the dry shoreline of Washoe Lake after a dramatic water drop by a Nevada Division of Forestry helicopter marked the start.

Now Every Neighbor Can Be Next Door


While pounding the pavement and knocking on doors can be an effective way to share information and concerns about a neighborhood's lack of preparation for the occurrence of wildfire, it is also time-consuming and at times frustrating. Technology has done a marvelous job putting us in touch with the people that do not live close by, but it has not done as great a job helping us connect with the people right outside our back door.  Realizing that neighborhoods really are the original social network, a new on-line tool called "Nextdoor" is available to fill this gap. The site requires users to either verify their address or be vouched for by an existing member. This in turn allows neighbors to join pages that were created by someone who lives close by. The boundaries of the neighborhood have to be defined but can be expanded or contracted as circumstances may change.  While this interconnectedness can be valuable for many purposes, it has great potential for raising neighborhood awareness about the threat of wildfire and encouraging neighbors to work together to lower their vulnerability and increase survivability. To learn more go to 

Ask An Expert

A Pulse reader asked "Are rain gutter covers a good idea?" Once again we turned to Stephen Quarles, PhD and Senior Scientist with the Insurance Institute for Building and Home Safety for the answer. His reply:

Yes, rain gutter covers can be a good idea, but they do come with their own risks. Rain gutters can trap fallen leaves, needles and other debris that can be ignited by embers during a wildfire and threaten the edge of the roof, including the fascia and roof sheathing. Covering your gutters with screens or other cover devices can minimize the build-up of debris in the gutter. Remember that even gutters with screens should be inspected to make sure covers are still in place and performing properly. Some screens and cover devices will minimize accumulation of debris in the gutter, but allow it to accumulate on the roof, behind the device. Consequently, screens and covers can reduce the maintenance chore, but not necessarily render rain gutters maintenance free. From a wildfire perspective, a noncombustible device would be a better choice. 

Plant debris can accumulate on the roof behind rain gutter covers.
Partner Spotlight:
Nevada Insurance Council

In addition to implementing defensible space principles, having adequate fire insurance coverage is an indispensable piece of the total home protection package.  Working to fulfill this critical need, the Nevada Insurance Council (NIC) is an active and supporting partner of the Living With Fire Program as well as the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities (The Network).

The Nevada Insurance Council is a non-profit, non-lobbying organization representing the property and casualty insurance industry in Nevada. NIC is dedicated to informing consumers and the media about the insurance industry and supporting educational programs to inform the public about mitigating measures that can be taken to reduce the threat of wildfire.

By educating consumers about becoming a Fire Adapted Community and the role that insurance plays in total home protection, NIC helps consumers choose insurance products that best fit their needs.  Mr. Robert Compan, NIC's Vice President, is currently a member of The Network's Advisory Board and provides a valuable insurance industry perspective to the Board's deliberations and The Network.

Junk The Junipers


Natalie is talking to her neighbors about the dangers of having ornamental junipers planted within 30 feet of the house. Read more here and learn about one more opportunity to junk your junipers on May 23.

Funding Opportunities
USDA Community Facility Program


USDA Rural Development Nevada has $15 million available through the Community Facility Program to lend to rural communities for emergency response, such as fire trucks, patrol vehicles, building expansion or renovation, communications and surveillance equipment. The program offers low interest, longer term federal loans to provide options for a community to finance essential equipment and facilities. Eligible applicants include government entities, community-based nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribes. For more information about the Community Facilities Program, visit

What do you think?
We'd like your feedback! What information would you like to know to help reduce the wildfire threat to your community? Reply to this email to share your thoughts.
This newsletter is provided by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, an EEO/AA institution, with funding from a State Fire Assistance grant from the Nevada Division of Forestry and USDA Forest Service. Additional support is provided by the Bureau of Land Management - Nevada State Office.
In This Issue

A Runaway Success!


The First Annual Wildland Fire Awareness Half-Marathon and 5K Trail Run at Washoe Lake State Park was a big success, with 147 runners and 100 other participants supporting the run. Desert Sky Adventures and their terrific team provided a seamless operation that made for a fun, yet challenging course.  Both of the races began with a dramatic water drop from a Nevada Division of Forestry helicopter, and a happy send off from Smokey Bear. The weather couldn't have been better.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event, especially the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada State Parks, with support from the Nevada Division of Forestry, US Forest Service, Nevada State Fire Marshal Division, Fire Prevention Association of Nevada, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, Air National Guard, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Washoe County Sheriff's Office CERT Volunteers and others. Because of the donations provided by Soil Tech, NV Energy, Trader Joe's Reno, Casino Fandango in Carson City, and others who donated more than $500.00 during the race along with the race fees, we expect to donate approximately $5,000 to the Wildland Firefighter's Foundation. You can read more about this important nonprofit organization in last month's issue of The Network Pulse here.

If you missed out on this race, there is still another opportunity to join the fun. On May 30th, a similar trail run will be held at Red Rock Canyon National Park just outside of Las Vegas, beginning at 7 a.m. There are still a few spots available and you can register here.

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