October 21, 2014
It's green, everywhere.... and people are noticing.
The invasive green cheat grass is overwhelming open space, giving the hills a green landscape.
Capt. Rich Riolo, with the Division of Forestry, says cheat grass doesn't need much water to survive and easily competes against native plants.
"If you've looked at some of the areas where we've had fires already, that cheat grass seems to come right back in and grow real quick."
The cheat grass surrounds us with green hills during a rainy spring. But, when it starts to turn purple, it's drying out and quickly becomes fuel for a fire.
Because the cheat grass can blanket an entire valley or hillside, firefighters and residents understand it's velocity.
Capt. Riolo says if you start to see cheat grass anywhere in your lawn, you need to cut it back.
Just as on the hillsides, if it's near your home, it will still act as an intense and fast moving fuel during a fire.
"It's probably one of our most dangerous types of fuels that's dangerous to the firefighters out there."
Proof that in Nevada, anything in the path of a fire is subject to mother nature in her fury.