Fire Restrictions Lifted for Western Nevada - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Fire Restrictions Lifted for Western Nevada

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Fire restrictions banned the use of campfires on public lands, except in designated campgrounds.

They have been in effect since mid-June.

It's been a tough year for the Silver State, with nearly 1,000 wildfires burning over 620,000 acres, with a price tag in the tens of millions of dollars.

About 95% of those acres burned on state and federal land.

U.S. Forest Service Captain Brian Reublinger says the hot, dry year is partly to blame.

"This area is famous for light fuels and that means that just a little fire can turn into a very big fire in a very small amount of time," Reublinger said.

With the most dangerous months behind us, fire restrictions have been lifted on Bureau of Land Management and forest land.

"Now, they can go out on public lands, they can make a campfire, they can go recreational shooting, they can use their ATVs," BLM Fire Mitigation Education Specialist Dennis Terry said.

Despite the restrictions being lifted and the rain we had overnight, officials hope it doesn't give the public a false sense of security.

"It only takes a little bit of sun and a little bit of wind, and in just a few hours, the fuels are dry again," Reublinger said.

That is what we saw within the past year as the Caughlin and Washoe Drive fires charred the landscape, destroying property.

They happened during the fall and winter, well after the end of a typical fire season.

"Still terribly dry and the wind blows 60-70 miles an hour and all it takes is a spark and it's gone," Terry said. "It's past the point where you can do anything about it."

That's why firefighters are hoping for more precipitation as we head into the winter months.

"I would love to see some rain, would love to see some snow, would love for it to be kind of normal again," Terry said.

A permit is still required for campfires in the Humboldt-Toiyable National Forest and there are still plenty of dry fuels in many areas.

"Absolutely, I encourage you to go out and enjoy your public lands, have fun, have a campfire," Terry said. "Just put it dead out and be very careful."

Part of putting that fire out means bringing plenty of water and using a shovel.

Also, keep the fire contained with a ring or stones.

Fire restrictions have not been lifted in the city of Reno.

Written by Paul Nelson
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