Winds Create High Fire Danger This Weekend

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WASHOE VALLEY, NV - We're already experiencing low levels of precipitation, and this weekend a high wind event is expected. This means fire season never really ends in Northern Nevada; we're always right in the middle of it.

It's always a little windy in Washoe Valley, but this time it's blowing with a little extra concern.

"A lot of what spread through here was the wind spreading the fire into little spots that had fuel," said James, who almost lost his home in the Washoe Drive fire. There's still evidence on the cottonwood trees that scatter his property.

"The house across the road back there caught, went onto the neighbor's house who at the time had a shake roof and then spread into the other neighbors yard that had weeds," said James.

Washoe Drive burned in January 2012 and the fire conditions then were similar to what we're seeing now.

"Just because it is January doesn't mean we could not have a wildfire," said Lisa Ross with the Bureau of Land Management. She is urging residents to be fire-safe no matter what time of year.

"Be careful when they are discarding, fireplace ashes, ashes from their wood stove," said Ross.

Discarded ashes are exactly what caused the Washoe Drive fire, but the next big blaze could come from a variety of sources, so it's important to just be careful.

The snow in the mountains is awfully deceptive; it makes you think that we're not in fire conditions, but what you have to pay attention to is what's happening down here on the valley floor; this vegetation is still very dry.

"Well, with the low moisture that we have had and the drought conditions, it's better to be proactive than to be reactive," said Ross.

Back at James' house, he's not too worried this time around because most of the fuels have already burned.

"Most of what would catch fire and let it spread right through here is gone," said James.

With such high winds expected for this weekend, it's not just Washoe Valley that is at risk; the entire region could be threatened, so everyone needs to make the effort to be fire-safe.