239 Wildfire Risk and Hazard Assessments
RCI completed 239 wildfire risk and hazard assessments for communities-at-risk in all 17 Nevada counties, including several communities in the Lake Tahoe Basin. RCI was retained by the Nevada Fire Safe Council to compile existing data and collect additional data to assess wildfire hazards and risks in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).
Multiple Agency Coordination
A Technical Review Team of fire personnel from the US Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Nevada Division of Forestry, Nevada Association of Counties, and the Nevada Fire Safe Council met with the RCI Project Manager at quarterly meetings to approve methodologies, provide local contact information, and monitor progress of this geographically extensive, long-term project.
Extensive Logistical Planning
The project required extensive logistical planning and travel to obtain site specific data from rural and remote communities. RCI fielded two community data collection teams consisting of a professional forester or rangeland ecologist (depending on the location), a fuels and fire behavior specialists, and resource technicians.
Risk Rating Determined for Each Community
RCI risk assessments included descriptions of vegetative fuels, estimates of fuel loads (tons/acre), and maps of fuel hazard conditions in the wildland/urban interface. The RCI Fire Specialist interviewed local fire agency personnel regarding fire behavior, fuel hazards, and suppression capabilities. An ignition risk rating was assigned for each community based upon historical ignition patterns, local experience of fire agency personnel, and RCI field reconnaissance.
Wildfire Mitigation Recommendations
RCI resource technicians inventoried each home in the wildland-urban interface in each at-risk community for wildfire hazards. The Risk/Hazard Assessment also included development of wildfire mitigation recommendations specific to each community. Risk reduction recommendations were specifically directed to property owners, homeowner associations, and governmental organizations at city, county, state, and federal levels.
Completed Community Wildfire Protection Plans for all At Risk Communities
This project was an extensive effort and a successful partnership with state and federal agencies, and local governments that made Nevada one of the few states to have completed Community Wildfire Protection Plans for all the federally listed communities at-risk.
17 Reports Completed
Our findings and recommendations were assembled into 17 reports, one for each county. Those reports can be viewed here.