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 wildfire hazards 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 to be assessed are among those named in the 2001 Federal Register list of wildland-urban interface 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 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 visited over 250 communities in seventeen Nevada counties 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 factors that influence the risk of wildfire ignition along the wildland-urban-interface and inventoried features that may be hazardous in the event of a wildfire. Interviews with local fire agency and emergency response personnel were completed to assess the availability of suppression resources and identify opportunities for increased community preparedness. Descriptions of the existing fuel hazard and potential fire behavior are discussed for each community. Photo points and fuel hazard maps are presented for each community where the overall community hazard score 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 ignition 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 seeking 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 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:
Nine Eureka County communities in proximity to federal lands were identified in the Federal Register as being at risk of wildfire. These nine communities are addressed in this assessment and include:
There may be additional rural areas or small subdivisions in Eureka County that were not included on the Federal Register list and thus not included in the scope of this project. Conditions in and around some of these communities may warrant future wildfire hazard/risk assessment. However, many of the recommendations developed for similar communities in this report may apply to additional areas.