Wildfires

A new study suggests huge fire blankets can help protect homes during wildfires.

Our region is leading the way on training helicopter pilots to fight fires at night.  There are costs and hazards involved but the move could also help firefighters get the most threatening blazes under control more quickly.

A shot of a prescribed burn taking place earlier this year at the Fishlake National Forest in Utah.
Desert Research Institute

A recent study says the American West should be doing more prescribed burns to keep forests healthy and to help lessen the impacts of wildfires across our region. It also concluded that there needs to be a change in how we perceive the practice out here for that to happen.

Wildfires are still burning across the Mountain West, but far fewer than in the last few years.


Luke Flynt / Unsplash

Wildfires are a common part of life in our region. According to new research, they can also give scientists valuable information about the climate effects of another potential disaster: nuclear war.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing 11,000 miles of fuel breaks throughout our region to help combat the spread of wildfires.

Sage and wildflowers bloom along a section of rangeland in Northern Nevada.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

As fire season begins to ramp up across the American West, firefighters in Nevada will have more money this year to battle those blazes. That's due, in part, to new legislation passed by lawmakers during the 2019 session, but that's one of the many environmentally-related bills to come out of the legislature. KUNR's Paul Boger spoke with Daniel Rothberg with the Nevada Independent to break it all down.

fire burning trees on mountain
Matt Howard via Unsplash

A recent federal climate change report offers a grim outlook on the future. More wildfires, poorer air-quality and an increase in heat-related illnesses are expected. KUNR’s Anh Gray spoke with Tim Brown, an expert from the Desert Research Institute, to get his perspective on what global warming means for the health and safety of Nevadans.

An aerial shot of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California.
NASA

A recent climate change report finds wildfires will only grow more destructive and longer lasting. In fact wildfires could burn up to six times more forest area annually by 2050 in parts of the U.S. Even before this climate report, UNR's Graham Kent has been working on expanding the footprint of his Alert Wildfire System to tackle this rapidly growing problem.

A view of the mountains near an asphalt road. The landscape next to the road has been severely burned.
Namaan Horn, Fire Information Officer / Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Over the weekend, more than 3,200 Nevadans got their first look at the damage caused by a wildfire that blackened one of Nevada's most popular recreation areas in the Ruby Mountains. KUNR's Danna O' Connor has more.

Paul Boger

2017 was the hottest year on record for most of Northern Nevada. And while the warmer weather has created complications across the region, nowhere may be as impacted as Lake Tahoe. The delicate ecosystem of the continent’s largest alpine lake has been under assault for decades from invasive species, algae growth and decreasing clarity. But area leaders are now concerned that wildfires may pose an even greater threat to the lake.

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District via Twitter

10 am Tuesday:

Farad Fire:

Location: 13 Miles Northeast of Truckee at the Nev/Cal border.

Size: 600 acres

Percent Contained: 10%

Personnel: 200

According to YubaNet News, firefighters worked through the night to construct control lines.

There are no evacuation orders in effect, but patrols will monitor the seven identified threatened structures in the Gold Ranch and Verdi Peak area.

Wildfire Season Begins: Fire Updates

Jun 18, 2017
Inciweb

Wednesday 12:00 p.m. update:

Another fire has broken out, this time 5 miles northwest of Jiggs, Nev. in Elko County. More than 100 firefighters are on scene of the Red Springs Fire, which has now burned 4,060 acres. The blaze is 15 percent contained, and no structures are threatened at this time.

Washoe County

October’s Little Valley Fire destroyed 23 homes and burned more than 2,200 twenty-two-hundred acres across Washoe Valley.

As Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports, local officials are now working to rehabilitate the charred landscape.

University of Nevada, Reno Seismological Laboratory

More than 100 fires burned through the Tahoe basin and Truckee Meadows this year, including the recent Little Valley Fire.

But as Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports, a network of cameras is helping to reduce the impact and damage caused by these blazes.

As the Hot Pot Fire near Battle Mountain and Winnemucca gained momentum over the summer, crews were able to get much needed air resources because of video evidence showing a rapid growth of the blaze.

Updates: "Shooting Fire" Near Carson City

Aug 14, 2016
Carson City Fire Department

5:30 PM Monday update:

The Shooting Fire in Carson City, which was sparked by target shooters on Sunday, is mostly contained. Fire crews are cleaning up the area.

Officials say that aggressive aerial assistance and structure protection from local, state and federal agencies helped contain the blaze and led to no loss of structures. All roads are open to the public, and officials say crews will continue to protect private property.

10:45 AM Monday update:

BLM Nevada

We'll continue to update this story as it develops. For updates on the fire, be sure to check the InciWeb website.  

11:14 am Friday update:

Pyramid Lake is now open for recreation. Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Spokesman Scott Carey says that major firefighting operations have ceased at the lake, making the lake safe to re-open.

The lingering widespread haze caused by California wildfires combined with high temperatures this week can be a health risk for people with asthma. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explains.

Dr. Sonia Budhecha is with Renown Medical Group. She says asthma is most common in children and is a condition when the bronchial tubes, or airways, get obstructed.

Marcus Lavergne

Several agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, have banned off-roading for vehicles in western Nevada because of high fire danger. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

The ban is a response to the ongoing drought and tinder-dry vegetation. Charles Moore is chief of the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. He says under the rule, vehicles are only allowed on existing paved, gravel, and dirt roads, not anywhere else.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning to several western states including parts of California and southern Nevada. The higher temperatures also pose an extreme fire danger. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explores what the risks are in Northern Nevada.

Climate researcher Dan McEvoy is with the Desert Research Institute.

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