BLM cautions against burning in windy conditions

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management, Winnemucca District, assisted local fire departments in fighting two controlled burns that escaped recently due to high winds.   It is very important to remember that Nevada has received less than 50 percent of its average precipitation between October 2017 and February 2018 and temperatures were above normal for the month of February when these incidents occurred.

“The warm temperatures and lack of snow at lower elevations this winter has not compacted the grass, making it available to burn through the winter and into this coming season,” said Donovan Walker, Fire Management Officer for the Winnemucca BLM.  “Please use caution when burning and do not burn on windy days.”

Here are some helpful tips to remember when considering agricultural and weed burning:

Learn before you burn. When burning, follow these important steps.

  • Check the weather and fuel conditions.

Don’t burn when it’s windy or when vegetation is very dry.

  • Check local regulations.

In your area, a permit may be required.  Remember to call in before you burn.

  • Look up.

Choose a safe burning site away from power lines, overhanging limbs, buildings, vehicles, and equipment. You’ll need at least three times the height of the pile of vertical clearance.

  • Look around.

The site should be surrounded by gravel or mineral soil (dirt) at least 10 feet in all directions. Keep the surroundings watered down during the burn and have a shovel close by.

  • Prepare.

Keep your area small and manageable.

  • Always stay with your fire until it is completely out.

Drown the fire with water, turn over the ashes with a shovel and drown it again. Repeat several times.

  • Check the burn area regularly over the next several days

Especially if the weather is warm, dry, and windy.

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Winnemucca District Office


Bradly Milam