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 to implement 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.
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 the 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 for at risk communities in Nevada. The communities to be assessed are among those named in the 2001 Federal Register list of communities at high risk from wildfire within the vicinity of Federal lands (66 FR 160). The list identifies Nevada communities adjacent to Federal lands that are most vulnerable to wildfire threat 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 inventoried over 250 communities in 17 Nevada Counties to assess both the risk of ignition and the potential fire behavior hazard. With the use of procedures accepted by Nevada’s wildland fire agencies, these specialists focused their analysis on the wildland-urban interface areas - places where homes and wildland meet.
The specific goals of the Nevada Community Risk/Hazard Assessment Project are to:
The community risk/hazard assessments were conducted systematically. The RCI Project Team observed and recorded the factors that significantly influence the risk of wildfire ignition along the wildland-urban interface, and they inventoried features that have an influence on 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 to identify opportunities for increased community preparedness. A description of the existing fuel hazard and potential fire behavior is discussed. Photos and maps are presented for each community where the fuel hazard in the interface area is high or extreme. However, fuel hazard mapping was not done in any Churchill County communities because none of the communities had high or extreme fuel hazard conditions.
The results of the assessments are formatted to facilitate ease of reference and reproduction for individual communities. Each community is mapped and ignition risks, fire hazards, and recommended mitigation projects are described for each community. The recommendations are summarized in table form and presented on a separate map, if the proposed mitigation project can be represented spatially. These tools will aid local, state and federal agencies in strategic planning, increasing public awareness, and seeking funding for future 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 it is also crucial 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 following communities in Churchill County were included in the assessment: