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KUNR Today: Fire Ban On Nevada BLM Land This Summer, Some Seasonal Fire Crews Could Become Full-Time

An image of a firefighting crew battling a wildfire
Nevada Division of Forestry

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Monday, June 28, 2021.

All BLM Lands In Nevada Now Subject To Fire Prevention Order
By The Associated Press

The Bureau of Land Management has issued a fire prevention order for all its lands in Nevada, including a ban on fireworks, exploding targets and ammunition with steel components. BLM Nevada Fire Management Officer Paul Petersen says the order effective Friday runs through Oct. 31. He said its necessary because Nevada is experiencing record-dry conditions and much of the state is in severe drought. The order makes it illegal to burn any explosive materials on BLM lands in Nevada. Several areas in the agency’s Southern Nevada District are subject to additional restrictions prohibiting building campfires, using charcoal barbeques or stove fires and smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle.

Us Seeks To Bolster Firefighter Ranks As Wildfires Increase
By The Associated Press

U.S. wildfire managers are considering shifting from seasonal to full-time firefighting crews to deal with what has become a year-round wildfire season and increasing pay and benefits to make the jobs more attractive. There's a push in Congress to increase firefighter pay and convert at least 1,000 seasonal wildland firefighters to permanent, full-time, year-round workers. U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Christopher French told the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Thursday that firefighters are underpaid. With the number of fires this year already outpacing last year's destruction, federal officials say they face a potential shortage of firefighters because of a low starting wage of $13 an hour.

Advocates Say Eviction Moratorium Is Helpful, But More Is Needed
By Tabitha Mueller, The Nevada Independent

Nevada housing advocates are optimistic the latest eviction moratorium will help protect vulnerable residents, but they say more work is needed to help tenants access assistance.

Under state law, landlords cannot evict a tenant for non-payment as long as they are actively seeking rental assistance, the landlord is not cooperating with the rental assistance process, or the landlord has refused to accept rental assistance; however, the state's rental assistance program has been slow to disburse payments, distributing less than half of the $380 million it's received in federal rental assistance.

Those delays have also drawn the ire of landlords. In a recent statement, the Nevada State Apartment Association noted the slow rollout has left many landlords with “insurmountable” debt.

Read the full story at thenevadaindependent.com >>

Clark County To Issue Students Flyers On Need For Gun Safety
By The Associated Press

Students in the Clark County School District will receive notifications about gun safety in their registration packets when they start in the fall. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the nation's fifth-largest school district on Thursday approved incorporating flyers on the importance of safely storing firearms in the home in materials for students. District officials say the hope is to reduce the number of accidental and deliberate shootings in Las Vegas area homes. They say this is not a political decision. Some members of the public have criticized the resolution, calling it overstepping.

Red Flag Gun Laws Do Not Violate Rights, Say Legal Scholars
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

Opponents of red flag gun laws say they violate constitutional rights. In a new study, legal scholars refute that argument. Three states in the region — Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico — have red flag laws on the books. They allow courts to temporarily confiscate firearms from people deemed a danger to themselves or others.

Jennifer Pomeranz studies public health policy at New York University. She led this new study and said red flag laws do not violate rights, like due process.

"There are many laws that have been found not to violate due process that are much more concerning from a due process position, and those are laws where they remove children from unfit parents or they involuntarily commit people," Pomeranz said.

Pomeranz said red flag laws are a key tool in addressing gun violence, but some states have enacted legislation to preemptively ban local red flag laws. Pomeranz sees that as a possibility in states like Montana and Wyoming which have preemptively banned other gun control measures.

Tabitha Mueller arrived at The Nevada Independent to work as an intern in 2019 after working as a freelance contributor for This is Reno. She is fascinated by storytelling, place and the intersection of narrative and data analysis.
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