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Paradise Valley is located in east-central Humboldt County along State Route 290 at the north end of Paradise Valley. The hazard assessment was based on observations of 62 residences and resulted in classifying Paradise Valley in the Moderate Hazard category (42 points). A summary of the factors that affected this hazard rating is included in Table 12-3. The community score was most influenced by high density housing areas with limited address signage and limited fire protection resources.
The wildland-urban interface condition surrounding Paradise Valley is classic interface with a clear line of demarcation between wildland fuels and the majority of the residential structures in the community. A few residences occur outside of the main town boundary in an intermix condition. Agricultural lands and meadows surround the community. Nearly all of the residences are on lots of less than one acre indicating a high density of structures.
Nearly all of the structures in the community were built with non-combustible or ignition resistant siding materials. All but four of the residences were built with fire resistant roofing materials. Fifteen percent of the homes observed had an architectural feature such as an unenclosed balcony, porch, or deck that could create drafts and provide a space where firebrands and embers can accumulate, smolder and ignite, rapidly spread fire to the home.
Over 75 percent of the homes assessed had the minimum requirements recommended for defensible space to help protect the home and minimize the potential for damage or loss during a wildfire.
Paradise Valley is protected by the Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department, through the Paradise Valley Fire Protection District. At the time that interviews were conducted for this report, the Paradise Valley VFD had 22 volunteer members. The Paradise Ranchos VFD also responds to fire calls in the area. Tables 12-1 lists wildfire suppression resources available for initial attack on a wildland fire call.
|Type of Equipment||Amount of Equipment||Cooperating Partner
|Engine Type 3
Engine Type 6
|Paradise Valley VFD|
|Engine Type 3||1||Paradise Hills VFD|
|Engine Type 4||1||USFS
|Source: Personal communication with Chief Rick Latimer, Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department.|
Bureau of Land Management wildfire suppression resources are available to all Humboldt County communities through cooperative agreements with local fire departments. The equipment listed in Table 4-2 represents resources assigned to the BLM Winnemucca Field Office, available for dispatch within ten to fifteen minutes of notification of a wildfire. The closest available resources at the time of the dispatch would respond.
Water availability for fire suppression in Paradise Valley includes:
The community water system operates on gravity and electrical pumps. There is no backup emergency generator to run the pumps in the event of a power failure during a wildfire.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office notifies the Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department and the Central Nevada Interagency Dispatch Center of wildfires reported by 911 calls. The Central Nevada Interagency Dispatch Center dispatches both Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service resources in Humboldt County.
The Paradise Valley VFD members are trained to Paradise Valley VFD standards for structure protection, and received BLM Wildland Firefighter Training. The Paradise Valley VFD does not utilize the Red Card system for individual qualifications. A Red Card certification is part of a fire qualifications management system used by many state and all federal wildland fire management agencies to indicate an individual’s qualifications to fight wildfires.
The Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department responded to four calls in 2003: three emergency medical calls and one wildland/brush fire call.
Funding for the Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department comes through the Paradise Valley Fire Protection District. Fire protection districts receive funding through ad valorem and other tax revenues.
Humboldt County has a Local Emergency Planning Committee, and Paradise Valley is included in the plan. The Humboldt County Fire Department does not review development plans for the community.
The terrain in Paradise Valley is flat, but mountains surround the community with slopes from ten to twenty percent. Afternoon winds are predominantly from the south-southwest. The area is prone to summer thunderstorms and dry lightning strikes. The fuel hazard in the Paradise Valley interface area is moderate with the fuel load estimated at three to six tons per acre. Fuels surrounding the agricultural fields and pastures in the community consist primarily of big sagebrush, fourwing saltbush, and rabbitbrush with a fine fuel component of cheatgrass and some Great Basin wildrye. Russian thistle is prevalent in some areas.
The worst-case wildfire scenario for Paradise Valley would begin with a dry lightning strike on a hot summer afternoon in the mountains surrounding the valley. Strong erratic winds typical of thunderstorms would push a fire down slope into the valley from any direction. Since the community is surrounded by irrigated agricultural lands, there is a low potential for structure loss. The greatest impact would be to the watersheds surrounding the community.
Paradise Valley has low ignition risk rating. The primary ignition risks in Paradise Valley are lightning, although human caused ignitions are unpredictable and can occur at any time.
The Paradise Valley risk and hazard reduction recommendations focus on expanding and maintaining defensible space.
Vegetation density, type of fuel, and slope gradient around a home affect the potential fire exposure levels to the home. The first goal of defensible space is to reduce the risk of property loss from wildfire by eliminating flammable vegetation near the home, thereby lowering the potential to burn. The second goal of defensible space is to provide firefighters a safer working area from which to defend the home or outbuildings during a wildland fire. Guidelines for improving defensible space around residences and structures are described in detail in Appendix E.
Many of the most effective activities aimed at reducing the threat of wildfire for the Paradise Valley community require that individual property owners coordinate with each other and with local fire authorities. Public education and awareness, neighbors helping neighbors, and proactive individuals setting examples for others to follow are just some of the approaches that will be necessary to meet the fire safe goals in the community.
Nevada Fire Safe Council
1187 Charles Drive
Reno, Nevada 89509
|Responsible Party||Recommended Treatment||Recommendation Description|
|Property Owners||Defensible Space||Remove, reduce, and replace vegetation around homes according to the defensible space guidelines in Appendix E.|
|Community Coordination and Public Education||Form a local chapter of the Nevada Fire Safe Council.|
|Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department||Training and Equipment||Coordinate with the Nevada State Fire Marshall to ensure that all volunteers receive structure fire suppression training.
Coordinate with BLM to maintain ongoing wildland fire training and to obtain red card certifications.
Pursue grant funding for additional water storage facilities.
|Community Coordination and Public Education||Distribute copies of “Living With Fire” to property owners.
Contact the BLM Winnemucca Field Office and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension for assistance with public education.
|Bureau of Land Management||Training and Equipment||Assist Paradise Valley VFD in obtaining and administration of red card certifications.|
|Fuels Reduction||Permit livestock grazing prior to seed maturity to reduce cheatgrass. Balance annual stocking rates with annual cheatgrass grass productivity.|
|Humboldt County||Defensible Space||Revise codes and ordinances to require and enforce defensible space treatments on all lots in the interface area.
Require provisions for fuel reduction treatment implementation and maintenance as a condition of new subdivision approval in the interface areas.
|Fuels Reduction Treatments||Continue roadside fuel reduction treatments by mowing vegetation to a height of 4 inches within 20 feet of each side of the roads.|
Paradise Valley Fire History, Suppression Resources, and Critical Features
Paradise Valley Wildfire Hazard Rating Summary