February 24, 2016    
In this issue of the Pulse we feature an article by The Network Coordinator Elwood Miller, PhD summarizing The Network Advisory Board's vision for Fire Adapted Communities. Also included is an article about Fire Chief Mike Brown and a Fire Adapted Community Tip about proper timing when thinning and pruning pinyon pine as well as disposal of slash.
Recognizing a Fire Adapted Community

"Effective Partnerships" begin with an open conversation between fire services and residents as you work together in a unified effort to create an effective Fire Adapted Community. Photo courtesy of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

In its very first meeting now over one year ago the Advisory Board of the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities (i.e., The Network) envisioned what a Fire Adapted Community would look and be like. The following five characteristics were identified that would set a Fire Adapted Community apart from others. These five characteristics have proven to be a solid foundation upon which to build an organization and take the actions needed to create a Fire Adapted Community:
  1. Effective Partnerships: The theme for the statewide conference in November, 2015 focused on building partnerships. Featured speakers and small group discussions identified this as a critical need and identified numerous areas of mutual benefit for the building of quid pro quo partnerships.
  2. Strong Community Leadership: The need for strong, dedicated, and effective leadership surfaces in virtually every discussion in regard to the formation of Fire Adapted Communities. In interviews with successful community leaders it was rated as one of the most critical elements for success.
  3. An Educated and Organized Community: Putting fire on every agenda and providing frequent exposure to information and educational material is central to every discussion regarding the successful creation of a Fire Adapted Community. The idea of creating a community culture of fire is increasingly gaining visibility in speeches and written material. The availability of information and education was also given high marks by community leaders. Without the effort and support of like-minded citizens community leaders "burn-out" and the mission falters. The community must have a supporting organization, either in place or created, to ensure sustainability of effort and success.
  4. Informed Residents Taking Action: Action, after all, is the end point.  What are the precursors that motivate and stimulate informed residents to take action? Not all may be known, but being exposed to a constant stream of encouraging information and becoming informed on effective actions that need to be taken, one-on-one conversations with neighbors, availability of inspections to identify specific work that needs to be accomplished, availability of financial assistance, help in removing accumulated debris and hazardous fuels, and observing work actually being done within neighborhoods have all been identified as critical stimulators resulting in more broadly applied pre-fire actions.
  5. The Enforcement of Codes, Rules and Regulations: Finally, effectively prepared properties scattered through a development may have some individual beneficial effect, but the real benefit to enhanced survival and increased safety for firefighters occurs when pre-fire treatment occurs on a community-wide basis. In the end, this may only be totally achievable through enforced codes and regulations that are imposed to achieve the desired outcome.
The Network is working to increase the number of communities across our State that exhibit these characteristics. Increase your understanding and learn the actions you can take by visiting www.livingwithfire.info and join The Network to connect with others seeking to increase their chances of survival in the face of a growing and serious wildfire threat.
Now is a Good Time to Thin and Prune Pinyon

Pinyon pine woodlands can support extreme wildfire behavior. It is important for landowners to understand how to keep their trees healthy to reduce the wildfire threat. Photo courtesy of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

If you live in Nevada's pinyon pine woodlands, such as the Virginia City Highlands, Upper Colony in Smith Valley, or Mount Wilson in Lincoln County, you should know that now is a good time of year to do your pinyon pine thinning and pruning. This is when insect pests are inactive. During the spring and summer months, pinyon pine insect pests, such as pinyon Ips beetle, are out and about and attracted to freshly cut pinyon trees. The male beetles target wounded trees and bore into the bark to create a "nuptial chamber". Females join the male, mate and lay eggs. The eggs hatch and begin feeding on the tree's living tissue beneath the bark. Depending upon tree condition and number of attacks, the beetles can kill mature pinyon pine trees. After you've done your cutting, be sure to properly store or dispose of your slash. For more advice about proper management pinyon pine and slash treatment, click here.
Fire Adapted Means Being Fire Prepared

In this month's blog, The Network Coordinator, Elwood Miller, PhD answers the question "What is a Fire Adapted Community?" Read his response here.
Funding Opportunities

Nevada Division of Forestry will be soliciting for pre-proposals to the State Fire Assistance grant program in the next month, so you should start getting your project ideas for the upcoming year organized. This year will be the second year of the new grant management process. As a reminder, NDF will be soliciting for pre-proposals which will then be selected for full proposal development. Full proposals will be submitted to the USDA-sanctioned competitive grant evaluation processes. If awarded, these grant funds would be available for implementation of projects starting in July of 2017. The purpose of the program is to support wildfire threat reduction projects, especially in the Wildland-Urban Interface. Eligible projects include:
  • Improve prevention/education in the interface
  • Reduce hazardous fuels
  • Restore fire-adapted ecosystems
  • Promote community assistance/planning
For more information go to http://forestry.nv.gov/fire-program/state-fire-assistance-program/ or contact Ryan Shane with the Nevada Division of Forestry at rshane@forestry.nv.gov.

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
Fire Chief
Mike Brown
Photo courtesy of North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.

After a 37-year career in the fire service, of which 26 years were with the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Fire Chief Mike Brown announced his retirement. Chief Brown has been a leader in addressing wildland-urban interface fire issues both in Nevada and nationally. He is a founding advisory board member for the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities and a prominent voice in promoting the concept of fire adapted communities. A few of his accomplishments include being Incident Commander for Reno's Caughlin Fire, serving on the International Association of Fire Chiefs Wildfire Policy Committee and participating on the California/Nevada Blue Ribbon Commission after the Angora Fire. He is also an active supporter, promoter and contributor to Nevada's Living With Fire Program. But "Big Mike" is probably best known for his engaging smile and hardy handshake.
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