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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

BLM Brings Awareness to Human Caused Fires

Winnemucca, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District, would like to remind everyone that fire danger is on the rise as we enter summer. A fairly wet winter and early spring warming has contributed to higher fuel loadings of cheat grass for most areas within the Winnemucca District. At this time, fuel loadings are 43% above the historical average (from 1998-2015). 

 

On average, there are 40 human-caused fires each year in the Winnemucca area. It is important that everyone does their part to limit human-caused fires. As firefighters continue to drill, train, and prepare for fire season, it is also critical for everyone to use public land responsibly. There have already been 14 human-caused fires in the Winnemucca area. If conditions warrant, the District may go into fire restrictions in the near future. Restrictions may include prohibiting campfires, charcoal barbeques, burn barrels, pile burning, and the closure of many campsites. It will take a serious effort from the all public land users to reduce the number of human-caused fires. 

The following precautions should be taken: 

• Never leave a campfire unattended and extinguish all campfires completely; 

• Dispose of cigarettes in proper containers away from any flammable material; 

• If operating in an area where off-road vehicle use is allowed, internal combustion equipment should have a spark arrester; 

• Avoid driving though dry vegetation, stay on established roads, and do not park on dry vegetation because hot undercarriages can start fires; 

• Keep your vehicle maintained, especially when venturing out of town. Many roadside fires start from vehicles with underinflated tires, broken parts, leaky seals, or faulty wiring; 

• If towing a trailer, check for dragging chains that can create sparks; 

• Do not shoot tracer bullets, incendiary ammunition, or exploding targets. Shoot only at cardboard or paper targets or manufactured thrown-type clay targets; 

 

• Do not shoot in areas of dry fuels, especially in times of extreme conditions such as Red Flag Warnings or a Fire Weather Watch as issued by the National Weather Service; 

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