LAS VEGAS (AP) - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is launching an herbicide offensive to combat an invasive grass that can fuel fires in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas.
Starting in October, contract spray crews will target red brome grass and its seed stock along roads and trails and in areas within the Red Rock scenic loop that were scarred by large wildfires in 2005 and 2006.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/Rs9Zwa ) reports the operation marks the first large-scale use of herbicides within the national conservation area. The goal is to create fire breaks up to 300 feet wide to help firefighters control future blazes and limit their size.
Officials say the grass provides ground-level fuel for fires where there wasn't any before, allowing otherwise small, isolated fires to spread quickly.