RCI ReportsMineral County Fire Plan

11.0 Conclusions

The communities in Mineral County are generally at low risk for catastrophic fire in the wildland-urban interface areas surveyed. Sparse vegetation surrounding the communities of Hawthorne, Luning, Mina, and Walker Lake provides a natural fuelbreak condition. Most fire hazards identified are due to a build up of fuels and combustible debris around buildings and structures. Removal of debris and excess vegetation to the defensible space guidelines in Appendix D will remedy many of the hazards and provide a greater level of fire safety to these communities.

The remote community of Marietta has a higher hazard rating for wildland fire due in part to the fact that there is no local fire protection service and also due to the shrubs and other vegetation that have grown against the structures and trailers in the community. Thinning of this vegetation and development of an onsite water source for drafting during a fire are key to increasing wildfire safety in Marietta.

Schurz is buffered on its perimeter by sparse vegetation, however, dense vegetation along the Walker River corridor and along the irrigation channels traversing the community pose a greater fire risk. Occasional haystacks throughout the area increase the fuel load and fire hazard within the community. Thinning vegetation along the river corridor and along the irrigation channels, combined with further implementation of defensible space around structures and haystacks will decrease the fire hazard in Schurz.

To be most effective, fire safe practices need to be implemented and maintained 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 necessary to reduce the risk of wildfire ignition and mitigate the hazards inherent in wildland interface areas.