Coming off wet winter, fire crews on high alert; asking you to be, too

PALOMINO VALLEY, NV (KOLO) -- With the weather getting warmer, wildfires can happen any time and fire crews are on high alert, and they are asking you to be as well.

While Nevada has always had wildfires, fire crews are worried with the growing population, more and more structures are being impacted.

Homeowners in Palomino Valley learned that news from the Perry Fire. The flames destroyed three homes and damaged 15 other structures, while burning 51,400 acres.

"It was a very difficult fire to fight," said Fire Chief Charlie Moore, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District.

Chief Moore says it was the largest fire his crews fought last season and the excessive smoke caused problems.

"Aircraft weren't able to fly for a couple of days and that really caused the fire to grow," said Chief Moore.

The investigation led first responders to David Radonski. He is accused of starting the fire by using illegal fireworks. He is due back in court for a jury trial in September 2019.

Moore says the past few seasons, human-caused fires are increasing. That is why he is telling people to be vigilant around fire fuels when around camp grounds, driving and target shooting.

"We want people to have fun and enjoy the wild lands, but we just want them to be mindful that their activities can lead to a wildfire," Chief Moore.

Chief Moore recommends people also create defensible space and eliminate weeds and brush around their homes.

With the wet winter, fire crews expect this wildfire season to be just as busy as the previous one.

For more information on fire safety, click here.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019