Resource Concepts, Inc.
Celebrating 31 Years 1978-2009
Engineering • Surveying • Resources & Environmental Services
The recommendations in this report have been developed based on site-specific conditions observed during the fire risk/hazard assessments performed by the RCI Project Team. General and specific recommendations provide a starting point so each community described in this report can take a proactive approach in formulating projects to reduce the likelihood of loss of life, property, and natural resources from a wildland fire.
The communities in Carson City are generally at moderate to high risk for catastrophic fire in the wildland-urban interface areas surveyed. The moderate to high density vegetation surrounding the communities, steep topography, and typical weather patterns during fire season creates a situation prone to wildfire. The moderate and low hazard ratings for the Carson Indian Colony and Stewart, respectively, reflect the observations that most fire hazards in these communities are due to a build up of fuels and combustible debris around structures. Removal of debris and excess vegetation in accordance with the defensible space guidelines in Appendix F will remedy many of the hazards and provide a greater level of fire safety to these communities.
The Carson City community has a moderate hazard rating for wildland fire due, in part, to vegetation structure and density changes along the west side of the Carson City community as a result of the 2004 Waterfall Fire. While the fuel hazard and ignition risk has been reduced on the west side of the community, the fuel hazard north, east, and south of the community remains moderate to high. The moderate hazard rating is also attributed to the defensible space treatments that have been implemented by fire agencies in the Timberline and Lakeview areas. This rating is also the result of combining small areas of the community with high or extreme hazards with other areas of the community with low or moderate hazards. Continuation of the fuel mitigation work that has been planned by the Carson City Fire Department will increase protection to homes and mitigate the fuel hazards present in some residential areas of the Carson City community. Revision of the Carson City Wildland Interface Ordinance requiring defensible space treatments on undeveloped lots would decrease the likelihood of losing homes if the worst-case scenario should occur.
Clear Creek received a high hazard rating for wildfire primarily due to the fuel hazard, access limitations, and distance to water sources. Clear Creek residents are also located in a canyon with topographical features and weather conditions that are conducive to extreme fire behavior. Continuing implementation of the recommended fuel mitigation projects and defensible space treatments in conjunction with installation of water drafting sources will help to reduce the hazard to the Clear Creek community.
All of the recommended fuel reduction projects in the Carson City and Clear Creek communities will require cooperation between the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of State Lands, Nevada Division of Forestry, Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, and the Carson City Fire Department to ensure proper planning, funding, and eventual implementation. The following table summarizes the previously planned and proposed fuel reduction projects with the landowners who will need to be involved.
|Community||Project Description and Estimated Acreage||Project Proposal||Status||Private||USFS||BLM||Carson City||NVST||Washoe Tribe|
|Carson City||Deer Run fuelbreak - 48 ac.||BLM
|Mexican Dam fuelbreak - 43 ac.||BLM
|North Carson fuelbreak - 87 ac.||CCFD||Proposed||X||X||X|
|West Carson fuelbreak - 25 ac.||CCFD||Proposed||X||X|
|C-Hill fuelbreak - 18 ac.||CCFD||Proposed||X||X|
|Clear Creek||West Side Fuel/firebreak - 15 ac.||Dynamac||Proposed||X||X|
|Highway 50 fuel reduction - 32 ac.||Dynamac||Proposed||X||X||X|
|Section 34 fuelbreak - 12 to 15 ac.||Dynamac||Proposed||X|
|South of Clear Creek fuelbreak - 25 ac.||Dynamac||Proposed||X|
|Community-wide fuel reduction - 1,690 ac.||RCI||Proposed||X||X||X||X|
To be most effective, fire safe practices need to be implemented on a community-wide basis. There is no guarantee that a wildfire will not occur in any of these communities, even if all of the recommendations in this report are implemented. Nonetheless, public awareness, neighbors helping neighbors, and concerned, proactive individuals setting examples for others to follow are just some of the approaches necessary to reduce the risk of wildfire ignition and the hazards inherent in wildland-urban interface areas.