Resource Concepts, Inc.
Celebrating 31 Years 1978-2009
Engineering • Surveying • Resources & Environmental Services
A key element of the Healthy Forests Initiative, announced by the White House in 2002, is the implementation of core components of the National Fire Plan Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment 10-year Comprehensive Strategy. Federal agencies and western state governors adopted the Plan in the spring of 2002, in collaboration with county commissioners, state foresters, and tribal officials. The Plan calls for more active forest and rangeland management to reduce the threat of wildfire in the wildland-urban interface.
The Healthy Forest Restoration Act (H.R. 1904) was signed into law in December of 2003. The act creates provisions for expanding the activities outlined in the National Fire Plan. In this same year the Nevada Fire Safe Council received National Fire Plan funding through the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management to conduct a Community Risk/Hazard Assessment in at risk communities across Nevada. The communities included in the Community Wildfire Risk/Hazard Assessment project are among those named in the 2001 Federal Register list of Communities at Risk within the vicinity of Federal lands (66 FR 160). The list identifies Nevada communities adjacent to Federal lands that are most vulnerable to wildfire in Nevada.
Resource Concepts, Inc. (RCI), a Carson City-based consulting firm, was selected to conduct the Community Risk/Hazard Assessments. During 2004, The RCI Project Team visited over 250 communities in Nevada’s sixteen counties and one consolidated municipality (Carson City) to assess both the risk of ignition and the potential fire behavior hazard. Procedures accepted by Nevada’s wildland fire agencies were used to reach consistent and objective evaluations of each community.
The specific goals of the Nevada Community Risk/Hazard Assessment Project are to:
The community risk/hazard assessments were conducted systematically for each community. The RCI Project Team observed and recorded the factors that significantly influence the risk of wildfire ignition along the wildland-urban interface and inventoried features that may influence hazardous conditions in the event of a wildfire. Interviews with local fire agency and emergency response personnel were completed to assess the availability and capability of suppression resources and identify opportunities for increased community preparedness. A description of the existing fuel hazard and potential fire behavior potential are discussed for each community. Photo points and fuel hazard maps are presented for the Carson City community, Carson Colony, and Clear Creek where the fuel hazard in the interface area is high or extreme.
The results of each community assessment are formatted to facilitate ease of reference and reproduction for individual communities. Each community is mapped and ignitions risks, fire hazards, and recommended mitigation projects are described for each community. The recommendations are summarized in table form and presented on a map, if the proposed mitigation project can be graphically represented. These tools will aid local, state, and federal agencies in strategic planning, raising public awareness, and securing funding to implement risk and hazard reduction projects. Mitigating the risks and hazards identified by these assessments is not only crucial to the long term goals of the National Fire Plan, but also to the short and long-term viability of Nevada’s communities, natural resources, infrastructures, and watersheds.
Numerous agencies and individuals were involved in the planning and implementation of this effort. Special thanks and acknowledgement is given to:
The Federal Register (66 FR 160) identified four communities within the Carson City Consolidated Municipality as being at risk of wildfire and within proximity to Federal Lands. Three of these are included in this assessment: Carson City Community, Clear Creek, and Stewart. The Carson Indian Colony was also included separately in the assessment, as it is part of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
The Spooner Lake Unit of Lake Tahoe State Park appears on the Federal Register list; however, no residential homes or commercial properties exist within the State Park. The Spooner Lake Unit of the park is located in the western portions of both the Carson City Consolidated Municipality (hereafter referred to as the Municipality) and Douglas County along US Highway 50 in the southern portion of Lake Tahoe State Park. Because there is no permanent community, very few structures, and no features listed in the National Register of Historic Places within the State Park, the risk/hazard assessment was not completed; however, the Spooner Lake Unit of the State Park is listed as a critical feature potentially at risk and described further in Section 3.3.3.