October 2016    
As fall's cool temperatures beckon folks to hunker down in their homes, it's important to consider that wildfires can still occur. Read on to learn more about Fire Adapted Communities (FACs), what one local community is doing, a gift awarded to The Network, interact and learn about prescribed fire from a virtual reality and learn about wildfire containment.  
 Featuring the River Mount Park Community Group

We are pleased to announce the winner of the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities' (The Network) Fall Membership Drive - River Mount Park. A total of nine individual members signed up with The Network to form the River Mount Park Community Group, located in Washoe County. After the Sept. 22 contest deadline, six more neighbors joined for a total of 15 members. 
Announced in the August 2016 Network Pulse newsletter, The Network held a Fall Membership Drive in an effort to increase membership and interest in the program. Held from Sept. 1 - Sept. 22, the contest promised to feature an article about the group who gained the most members.
The catalyst to the River Mount Park community joining The Network stemmed from the Driscoll Fire in June of this year. This fire damaged one structure and threatened others in this older Southwest Reno neighborhood. As interest sparked in the area, the Living With Fire Program and Reno Fire Department collaborated on a wildfire awareness meeting for the residents. During the meeting, The Network coordinator, Dr. Elwood Miller, called for action within the River Mount Park community and Sue Markert, current leader of the River Mount Park Community Group, responded.
A meeting was held at Sue's house a few weeks later for concerned residents to collaborate with each other and more effectively address the fire threat. Ann Grant, advisory board member of The Network and mentor for other threatened communities in Nevada, also spoke at this gathering. The group decided their next step was to ask for defensible space inspections from a fire agency and then to follow any recommendations to remove the hazardous fuels around their homes. Neighbors expressed interest in removing fuels, but the high cost and labor were a cause for concern. With advice from the Living With Fire Program, the group agreed to seek bids from multiple landscape companies to remove fuels from their group of homes.
Kudos to the River Mount Park Community Group for joining The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities, working towards becoming a Fire Adapted Community and winning The Network Fall Membership Drive!
 State Farm Awards The Network $17,000

State Farm has made a gift of $17,000 to the UNR Foundation in support of The Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities Program (The Network) as part of their company's Good Neighbor Citizenship Grants.
The Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants focus on safety, education and community development where they are "like a good neighbor", helping to build safer, stronger and better educated communities across the United States. "This is a valuable partnership to help save lives and protect property. It just fits with our 'Good Neighbor' beliefs," said State Farm Public Affairs Specialist Naomi Johnson.
The grant will increase the reach of The Network in many ways, including its active participation in distributing educational materials as well as its sponsorship of the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Multi-Hour Trail Run event on May 13, 2017.
State Farm will present the check during the Washoe County Wildland-Urban Interface Communities Meeting, Nov. 9 at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno.

Igniting a Friendly Fire
Have you seen smoke in the distance and a sign on the road that states, "Prescribed Fire Do Not Report"? Typically these areas or roads are blocked off to the public as fire crews deliberately set fires according to carefully developed procedures. Click the link to interact with a virtual reality of the prescribed fire in Tunnel Creek, NV. http://bit.ly/2dFSANh 

Ask an Expert:
What Does Containment
Actually Mean During a Wildfire?

A handcrew works to construct a fire line to help contain a wildland fire. Photograph courtesy of North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District.

In the immediate aftermath of the recent Little Valley Fire in Washoe Valley, we noticed a lot of confusion concerning "containment" percentages that were provided by the Incident Commander or other officials. Many people could not understand why, in spite of a deluge of rain and the lack of smoke at the burn site, containment was still only listed as 55% three days later. We reached out to Sandy Munns, Wildfire Training Coordinator at Truckee Meadows Community College and a Fire Behavior Analyst for an explanation.
Sandy responded, "Containment refers to measures taken by firefighters to minimize the risk of a fire escaping from its current fire edge. We use numerous methods to do that: hand crews and dozers cut fuels away to bare dirt; we use roads, ridgelines and black fire edge; or we do direct fire extinguishment with engines and water. Often, we use a combination of the above. The real action is along the fire edge. Although acreage is interesting, what firefighters want to know is how much perimeter there is. Once determined, it must be cut, burned, cleaned or wetted down and overhauled, to ensure that the fire will not spread, if it becomes active. Why do we do this? Firefighting efforts and even rain or snow may extinguish fine fuels, like grass, pine needles and twigs, and even small branches; they usually get wet or dry in less than an hour, up to around 10 hours. However, larger branches, logs, and heavy duff layers will shed water quickly rather than absorb it, and can continue burning. They can take from up to 3 days to a couple weeks to absorb enough moisture to stop burning. So, despite initial efforts and help from the weather, many fuels could still be burning. If there's any wind, the active fire can spread in areas where the fire edge doesn't have containment lines. Firefighters often have to do this work on steep slopes, in heavy fuels, and in muddy soil and ash. It is hard, backbreaking, dirty and exhausting work, and it takes time. Thus, the Incident Commander calculates how much perimeter has been completed (contained) and reports it as a percentage of total fire perimeter."

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

Nevada neighborhoods located in wildfire-prone areas should work toward becoming Fire Adapted Communities (FACs). FACs are communities that can survive a wildfire with little or no assistance from firefighters. This is possible because of how the homes are constructed and maintained, the manner vegetation within and surrounding the community is managed and the knowledge and skills of the residents. During a wildfire, FACs reduce the potential for loss of human life and injury, minimize damage to homes and infrastructure and reduce firefighting costs. For more information, watch http://www.livingwithfire.info/fire-adapted-communities .

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