RCI ReportsNye County Fire Plan

10.0 Hadley (Round Mountain)

10.1 Risk and Hazard Assessment

The community of Hadley is the relocation site for the mining town of Round Mountain. The relocation of the town’s population and services from Round Mountain to Hadley is well underway. As such, the data and conditions reported in this chapter refer only to Hadley. Hadley is located in northern Nye County in Big Smoky Valley. The community is situated on relatively flat terrain at 5,700 feet in elevation. The community hazard assessment resulted in classifying Hadley in the Low Community Hazard category (32 points). The low hazard score was primarily attributed to good access and sparse fuels. A summary of the values that affected the hazard rating is included in Table 10-2.

10.1.1 Community Design

Hadley is characterized as a classic interface condition. There is a clear line of demarcation between the structures and the wildland fuels. Fuels do not continue in the development area. All of the 25 houses observed in the interface area were on parcels less than one acre in size (Figure 10-1).

  • Roads: The primary access route into Hadley is provided by Pablo Canyon Road, which intersects with State Route 376. Both roads are at least 24 feet wide. The secondary roads are paved, with grades less than five percent and have adequate turnaround space for fire suppression equipment.
  • Signage: Street signs and addresses were clearly visible. Clear and visible signage is important to assist firefighters in locating residences during poor visibility conditions that occur during a wildland fire.
  • Utilities: All utilities were above ground. Power line corridors had been properly maintained to minimize wildfire damage to electric utilities and reduce the possibility that sparks would start a fire in adjacent vegetation.

10.1.2 Construction Materials

All of the homes observed in the interface area were built with ignition resistant wood siding materials and have fire resistant roofing materials such as composition roofing, metal, or tile. None of the 25 homes observed have unenclosed balconies, porches, decks, or other architectural features that can create drafty areas where sparks and embers can accumulate, smolder, ignite, and rapidly spread fire to the home.

10.1.3 Defensible Space

All of the homes met the minimum recommended defensible space guidelines for landscaping to help protect the home from damage or loss during a wildfire.

10.1.4 Suppression Capabilities

Wildfire Protection Resources

The Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department has one fire station located in Hadley, with one paid position and 23 volunteer firefighters, at the time the interviews were conducted for this report. Table 10-1 lists the types of wildfire resources, cooperating partners, and equipment available to Hadley for initial attack of a reported wildland fire.

Table 10-1. Resources Available to Hadley for Initial Attack of Wildland Fires
Type of Equipment Amount of Equipment Cooperating Partner
(Resource Location)
Type 6 Brush Engine
Type I Brush Engine
Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department
Water Tender (3,000 gal.)
Type 6 Brush Engine
Smoky Valley Volunteer Fire Department
Water Truck 30,000 gal
Water Truck 10,000 gal
Round Mountain Gold Company
(Round Mountain)
Type 6 Brush Engine 1 Tonopah Volunteer Fire Department
Source: Personal conversation with Assistant Chief Dan Sweeny, Round Mountain VFD (June 29, 2004)

Additional resources are available through the fire departments in Carvers, Manhattan, and Tonopah, dispatched through the Nye County Sheriff. Resources are also available from the Nevada Division of Forestry Tonopah Conservation Camp, dispatched through the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center. The Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service suppression resources are dispatched through the Central Nevada Interagency Dispatch Center. It is important to note that the actual number and type of suppression resources available to respond from neighboring fire departments and agencies is dependent upon the resources on hand at the time of the wildland fire call.

Water Sources and Infrastructure

Water availability for fire suppression in Hadley includes:

  • 500 gpm hydrants within 500 feet of structures and
  • Water storage tanks totaling one million gallons.

The water system operates on gravity and electrical pumps. There is no backup emergency generator to run the pumps. Also there were two fishing ponds in Hadley and ponds on the golf course that may be used as drafting sources with landowner permission.

Detection and Communication

Fires are reported in the Hadley area by calling 911, which connects the caller with the Nye County Sheriff. The Nye County Sheriff Dispatch in Tonopah contacts local fire department through radios and pagers. All Hadley Volunteer Fire Department radios are compatible with neighboring fire departments and state mutual aid frequencies.

Fire Protection Personnel Qualifications

All of the Hadley volunteer firefighters have been trained to State Fire Marshall’s Firefighter I standards. Firefighters also receive annual wildland-urban interface training by video conferencing.

Work Load

The Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department responded to over fifty calls in 2003. Three to four of these call were wildland / brush fire calls

Financial Support

Financial support comes primarily from the Nye County General Fund and the Town of Hadley General Fund.

Community Preparedness

Nye County has an active Local Emergency Planning Committee and has adopted an emergency plan, a disaster plan, and an emergency evacuation plan. The Round Mountain volunteer fire department maintains a Fire Department Response Plan.

10.1.5 Factors Affecting Fire Behavior

The interface fuel hazard condition for Hadley is low. Light fuels in the area consist of sparse salt grass, rabbitbrush, and shadscale. The community is bound on two sides by a golf course, and the area is relatively flat with no topographic features that would increase the community’s fire hazard rating.

10.1.6 Fire Behavior Worst-case Scenario

The worst-case scenario would occur during a year of above-normal precipitation and annual grass production without livestock grazing to reduce ground fuels. A wind-driven fire would be carried through grass since most brush is widely spaced and less than one foot high. Flame lengths of four to six feet with rates of spread of approximately 2,000 to 4,000 feet per hour would be expected.

10.1.7 Ignition Risk Assessment

There is a low potential for fire ignition due to sparse fuels within and around the community. The primary risk is from off-road vehicle usage.

10.2 Previous Site Assessment Summary

The site assessment carried out by the BLM Battle Mountain Field Office in October of 2002 reports that Hadley is a fire safe community requiring no special fuel reduction treatments. The report cites flat topography and insufficient fuels to carry fire into the community. A golf course in the northeast section of the community and roads on all sides of community are also reported to constitute effective fire barriers.

10.3 Risk and Hazard Reduction Recommendations, Roles, and Responsibilities

The Hadley risk and hazard reduction recommendations address the primary concern regarding training, communication, and public education.

10.3.1 Defensible Space Treatments

Maintain the already good defensible space conditions established around Hadley.

10.3.2 Community Coordination

Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Responsibilities

  • Participate annually with the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service to discuss their pre-attack plan for the public lands surrounding the community.
  • Provide pre-attack plans, including maps of water sources, staging areas, safety zones, etc. to outside agencies that respond to a wildfire event.

10.3.3 Public Education

Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Responsibilities

  • Distribute copies of the publication “Living with Fire” to all property owners. This publication is free of charge. Copies can be requested from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

10.3.4 Equipment and Training

Resources and training for wildfire is a safety issue for firefighters as well as the community.

Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Responsibilities

  • Upgrade personal protection equipment for wildland firefighting. Personal protection equipment includes hard hats, goggles, gloves, fire shelters with cases, and Nomex clothing.
  • Obtain wildland firefighting equipment such as Pulaskis, shovels, and McLeods.
  • Continue to provide basic wildland firefighter training by requiring all volunteers to attend BLM Wildland Firefighter Training for volunteer firefighters or other training opportunities.
  • Ensure that wildfire training and equipment conforms to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group 310-1 standards.
  • Coordinate with the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service to ensure that radio frequencies and radios are compatible in order to maintain communications during wildland fire incidents.

Figure 10-1

Hadley (Round Mountain) Suppression Resources

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Table 10-2

Hadley (Round Mountain) Wildfire Hazard Rating Summary