#About - Firefighters' point of view at a wildfire just west of Reno, Nevada. Photo © Stan White.
The Ray May Fire is a blazing reminder that we are at the height of wildfire season here in the Reno / Lake Tahoe region. The Ray May conflagration, south of Reno and Carson City near Minden in Douglas County, consumed 3,600+ acres of juniper/pinion forest, burned several structures, caused two firefighter injuries, and cost untold thousands of dollars to fight. It also resulted in felony charges against the two teenagers accused of starting the blaze with an illegal campfire. All in all, wildfires are usually losing situations for everyone involved.
This isn't to say you shouldn't get out and enjoy our warm summer days. You should, while being prudent whenever using fire or engaged in activities with the potential to cause a fire. According to the U.S. Forest Service Wildland Fire Assessmen System, most of Nevada and the neighboring area of California are rated high to very high for wildfire danger. An area north of Reno, straddling the California/Nevada state line, is in the extreme range.
The fact is, wildfires in the west are inevitable. You don't have to be a helpless victim, however. Read Reno / Tahoe Wildfire Safety for information about preventing fires, protecting your property, and what to do if a wildfire is threatening your area. And remember, wildfires can and do occur right in town - don't get complacent just because you happen to live within the city limits.
If you are not sure about when and where you can use fire right now, read Fire Restrictions in Western Nevada Start July 23, a joint news release from the Bureau of Land Management, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and Nevada Division of Forestry.
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