Many Fire Prone Areas In Truckee Meadows - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Many Fire Prone Areas In Truckee Meadows

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The Caughlin Fire only burned for one day but the wind-driven fire destroyed 32 homes before fire crews were able to contain the blaze.

Just a couple of months later, the Washoe Drive fire claimed 29 homes and charred 3,100 acres.

Today, these areas, and many others are still prone to wildfire.

"We always worry about the Caughlin Ranch area because of the proximity to the wildland interface up in that area," Chief Michael Hernandez, Reno Fire Department said. "We worry about the Verdi locations. But in reality, we are surrounded by terrain that is of a risk."

The Caughlin Ranch area faces the threat of wildfire every year, with houses sitting right next to the wildlands that are often overgrown with cheatgrass.

That threat only gets worse as we head deeper into the summer.

"The area is starting to dry up," Hernandez said. "We're starting to go into that time of the year where we didn't get a lot of rainfall, the humidities are low, the winds are high, higher temperatures, and all of these combine to create a greater risk of fire danger."

Those factors are the reason for Tuesday's red flag warning.

Officials say the wind is often the most problematic because it often challenges traditional firefighting methods.

"We had wind-driven fires that were leap-frogging, sometimes a half-mile away from the leading edge of the fire," Hernandez said. "So, wind is a critical component to keep an eye on."

Chief Hernandez says people should have at least 30 feet of defensible space around their house, especially near wildlands or canyons.

"If you live in ravines, canyons, those types of areas, you need to be very, very careful and very aware of the conditions that are in those canyons," Hernandez said.

The red flag warning means you should be careful with anything that could ignite a fire, like cigarette butts, off-road vehicles and target shooting.

Hernandez says even if you plan on barbecuing, you should have a fire extinguisher nearby.

Written by Paul Nelson
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