ELKO FIELD OFFICE NO. 2007-82
FOR RELEASE: June 21, 2007
CONTACT: Mike Brown, (775) 753-0386; firstname.lastname@example.org
HUMAN-CAUSED FIRES INCREASING IN NORTHEASTERN NEVADA
Human-caused wildfires are on the rise in Elko County. Of 21 wildfires since June 1, 2007, 18 were caused by people and burned over 900 acres.
“These fires were not caused intentionally,” said Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fire Management Officer Joe Freeland. “They were accidentally caused primarily by people doing day-to-day activities outdoors such as welding or grinding or using equipment. Unfortunately, right now and for the next few months, we’ve got conditions which allow fires to start by any kind of activity which creates a spark.”
Freeland added that part of the reason for the increased fire occurrence is the high fuel loading because of the carryover of last year’s grasses and the new growth that has dried out in the recent hot temperatures. Nearly 1 million acres burned in Elko County in 2006 which means 11 million acres did not and last year’s dry and highly flammable vegetation is still there … just waiting for a spark.
The BLM, U.S. Forest Service, and Nevada Division of Forestry urge people to practice fire safety when working outdoors. Don’t use welders or grinders or other spark producing equipment within 30 feet of any dried grass. Have a shovel, hose, and at least 10 gallons of water handy whenever you’re working outdoors.
Be extremely cautious with campfires. Try to keep campfires within established campgrounds with fire rings and pits. Never build a campfire in an area adjacent to flammable vegetation. Make sure the campfire is “Dead Out” before leaving it unattended. This means drowning the fire in water, stirring or breaking up coals and wood and adding more water until it is cold to the touch.
2007 has the potential to have an active fire season. Please don’t give Mother Nature any help starting fires.