Resource Concepts, Inc.
Celebrating 31 Years 1978-2009
Engineering • Surveying • Resources & Environmental Services
In 2004, Blackbull Wildfire Services completed an assessment entitled “Community Wildfire Threat Reduction and Project Implementation Plan for Job’s Peak Ranch, September 2004,” on behalf of the Nevada Fire Safe Council. The pertinent information for this report is summarized from the Blackbull Job’s Peak Ranch assessment.
The Job’s Peak Ranch community is located 4.5 miles southwest of Minden, Nevada along State Route 206 (Foothill Road). The community is situated west of Foothill Road on the east-facing alluvial fan, at the base of Job’s Peak. The 1,080-acre Ranch was subdivided into 122 parcels between two and seventeen acres in size. At the time of the assessment, 31 parcels were developed or in the process of being developed, with another 87 parcels sold. Sale of a new phase of parcels is scheduled for the spring of 2005. The assessment resulted in classifying the Job’s Peak Ranch community in the High Hazard category. The primary hazard factor for the Job’s Peak Ranch was the high hazard vegetation in close proximity to homes.
The Job’s Peak Ranch interface area is characterized as the intermix wildland-urban interface condition. Structures are scattered throughout the wildland area with no clear line of demarcation between wildland fuels and residences in the community (Figure 16-1).
A great majority of the homes in the community were built with Class A fire-resistant roofing materials and a majority of homes observed had unenclosed balconies, porches, decks, or other architectural features that create drafts and provide areas where sparks and firebrands can be trapped, smolder, ignite, and rapidly spread fire to the home.
A majority of the homes assessed had between thirty and seventy feet of vegetative clearance around the home. In Job’s Peak Ranch the recommended minimum defensible space distance ranges between 100 and 200 feet depending upon slope.
The Sheridan Volunteer Fire Department (Station 8) and the Nevada Division of Forestry Sierra Forest Fire Protection District are responsible for wildfire and structure fire protection in Job’s Peak Ranch. The VFD Station is within five miles of the community. See Tables 4-2 and 4-3 for more information on the typical fire suppression response for first-alarm wildland-urban interface fires in Douglas County. Appendix E lists the type and number of fire suppression vehicles located at each EFFPD and Douglas County VFD station.
Fire hydrants (500 gpm) are available and spaced less than 1,000 feet apart in the Job’s Peak Ranch community. Several creeks within the community flow year round and are available water drafting sources.
The Job’s Peak Ranch community formed a local chapter of the Nevada Fire Safe Council in August of 2003. There is currently no evacuation plan for residents of the community, nor is there information on safe zones within the community in the emergency and disaster plans.
The terrain is very steep in and around the Job’s Peak Ranch community. Slopes range between ten and twenty percent within community and increase to greater than sixty percent just west of the community. The predominant wind direction is downslope from the south and southwest. There is a significant history of large fires and fire ignitions near the community.
Three main vegetation types were identified in the Job’s Peak Ranch community including sagebrush/bitterbrush, cheatgrass, and mixed conifer. The sagebrush/bitterbrush and cheatgrass types were considered high fuel hazards and the mixed conifer was considered a medium/high hazard fuel type. Aspen groves were located along the creeks throughout the community.
The worst-case scenario for Job’s Peak Ranch would likely occur in the event of a dry-lightning storm in which several ignitions occurred on the mountain southwest or west of the community. Driven by 25 mile per hour winds any fire ignition could result in a crown fire capable of rapidly spreading downhill toward the community. Very few roads provide access for fire suppression equipment south and west of the community, which decreases response time. Spot fires could result in multiple fire fronts near residences in the community and could increase the difficulty for fire suppression personnel protecting homes. If either Five Creeks Road or Foothill Road were to be closed in two places due to fire, homeowner evacuation and fire suppression response could be limited.
Blackbull Wildfire Services assigned Job’s Peak Ranch an ignition risk rating of medium frequency/medium impact for a fire ignition occurring within the community. A rating of medium frequency/medium impact was given for a fire starting near Foothill Road and burning uphill toward the community. A low frequency/high impact rating was giving to an ignition starting west of the community. The RCI Project Team classified the community with a high ignition risk.
The Job’s Peak Ranch risk and hazard reduction recommendations were developed by Blackbull Wildfire Services and reviewed by the RCI Project Team. The recommendations that the Fire Specialist on the RCI Project Team concurred with are listed below. Refer to Blackbull 2004b for more information.
Improving or creating community access improves safety of egress for residents and access for firefighters.
Many of the most effective activities aimed at reducing the threat of wildfire for the Job’s Peak Ranch community require that individual property owners coordinate with each other and local fire authorities as they have through the Job’s Peak Ranch Chapter of the Nevada Fire Safe Council. Public education and awareness, neighbors helping neighbors, and proactive individuals setting examples for others to follow are just a few of the approaches that will be necessary to meet the fire safe goals in the community. Disposal of biomass generated from defensible space and fuel reduction treatments can sometimes be most efficiently handled through community programs.
Construct fuelbreaks and fuel reduction treatments by thinning trees, limbing residual trees, and reducing understory vegetation and brush density in the locations indicated in Figure 16-2. These specifications are included in the fuel reduction treatment fact sheet in Appendix D. When constructing fuelbreaks, all dead woody material should be hand or machine piled. Maintain all fuel reduction treatments listed below on a three to seven year cycle depending upon vegetative regrowth.
|Involved Party||Recommended Treatment||Recommendation Description|
|Property Owners||Fuels Reduction||Coordinate with EFFPD and NDF to construct recommended fuelbreaks and fuel reduction projects.|
|Nevada Fire Safe Council Local Chapter||Community Coordination||Coordinate with EFFPD and NDF to initiate a community-wide fire safe program to enhance property owner awareness and knowledge about wildfires and associated risks of living in a fire prone environment.|
|Douglas County||Community Coordination||Create a county ordinance to include provisions requiring fuel reduction treatments on undeveloped lots prior to new wildland-urban interface subdivision approval and defensible space implementation on each lot prior to building permit issuance.|
|East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts
Nevada Division of Forestry
|Fire Suppression Capability||Develop a pre-attack plan for the Job’s Peak Ranch community.|
|Fuels Reduction||Construct three proposed fuelbreaks and three proposed fuel reduction treatments.|
|Community Coordination||Develop a community fire notification and evacuation plan for the Job’s Peak Ranch community.
Initiate a community-wide fire safe program to enhance property owner awareness and knowledge about wildfires and the associated risks of living in a fire prone environment.
Job’s Peak Community