LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Clark County officials are warning everyone about the potential for a busy wildland fire season, especially during the spring and summer months when vegetation is dry.
But as we all know, Las Vegas is in the desert, where the vegetation is drying almost all year.
Nevertheless, the Mount Charleston Fire Protection District and Clark County Fire Department are teaming up with local, federal and state agencies to gear up for a busy wildland fire season.
Nevada’s wildland fire season typically runs from May through October when (once again) vegetation is driest. May is Wildfire Awareness Month. In preparation for this year’s season, the Clark County Fire Department is partnering with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to offer a training session on Saturday, April 22, to help volunteer firefighters get necessary annual certification to fight on the front lines of wildfires.
The session will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fire Station 80 in Blue Diamond, 28 Cottonwood Drive. Participants rotate through several education stations as part of the annual training. Stations include weather, which has a crucial role in battling wildland fires.
“It has been a pretty wet spring, so there is a lot of vegetation that can become fire fuel as the weather gets warmer and drier,” said Clark County Assistant Fire Chief Larry Haydu, who oversees the County’s ranks of volunteer firefighters as Rural Division Chief.
“We’re asking the public to carefully dispose of matches, smoking materials and other items that can ignite fires,” said Haydu.
The memory of the enormous Carpenter 1 fire at Mount Charleston also looms large this time of year. The fire was ignited by a lightening strike on July 1, 2013, and consumed nearly 28,000 acres of forest, destroyed six structures and threatened a number of homes.
“Mount Charleston is a very sensitive area, and visitors and residents alike need to work together to protect it,” said Fire Chief Jorge Gonzales of the Mount Charleston Fire Protection District. “It’s important that the public obey posted fire restrictions and to use extreme caution if you’re barbecuing or cooking with an open flame at campsites,” said Gonzales.