Fighting Fire Before the Blaze

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

It just takes one spark. That's what local volunteers reminded each other as they cleared land around one home in Washoe Valley.

Rachel Sumner says it's all part of a project organized by the Student Conservation Association Fire Education Corp of America.

"The purpose of the project is to help the home owners who can't help themselves, help get rid of the myth that defensible space is ugly."

The students all attend college across the U.S. and then volunteer throughout the summer with a field specialty of their choice. Local firefighters helping clear the area say defensible space needs to be maintained all year because a wildfire can take over an area in a matter of minutes.

Firefighters say demonstrating defensible space can actually look nice helps encourage other homeowners to start protecting their homes. Some say when it comes down to fighting a fire in a neighborhood, if your house has no defensible space and another house does, your house might get left unprotected.


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