Western Nevada fire restrictions underway

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Due to drying vegetation, increasing daytime temperatures and several human-caused fires, the Bureau of Land Management-Carson City, the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Western Nevada Agency, Public Domain Allotments, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex are announcing the implementation of fire restrictions on all lands under their jurisdiction effective Saturday, June 30, at 12:01 a.m. and lasting until further notice.

BLM says vegetation in western Nevada and eastern California is significantly more then we have seen in previous years partly because of a wet spring and the abundance of last year’s grass crop. Warmer-than-average temperatures have increased the rate of vegetation dry-out. A large crop of grass and brush is evident at lower elevations and trees and other forest vegetation at higher elevations is quickly drying out. People are encouraged to safely enjoy the public lands, bearing in mind that human-caused fires threaten human life, private property and public land resources every summer.

Fires should be reported to the Sierra Front Interagency Fire Dispatch Center in Minden at 775-883-5995. or dial 911.

Fire restrictions prohibit the following:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire (using wood, charcoal or any other material), campfire or stove fire except a portable stove using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel outside of a developed fee campground or picnic area (except by permit).
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or at a developed campground or picnic area.
3. Operating vehicles or other motorized equipment off of existing paved, gravel or dirt roads.
4. Welding or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.
5. Using or causing to be used, any explosive, except by permit.
6. Possession or use of fireworks or any other incendiary device.
7. Use of tracer rounds (always prohibited), steel-core ammunition, or exploding targets, including Binary Explosive Targets while recreational shooting.

All agencies recommend when operating vehicles or equipment traveling on or using wildland areas, you should have at least an axe, shovel and one gallon of water, and carry cell phones while in the wildlands or national forests to report wildfires.

As a reminder, the following safety tips should be followed while target shooting:

• Refrain from shooting during hot, dry and windy conditions.
• Don’t use incendiary or tracer ammo – Incendiary and tracer ammo are always prohibited on public lands.
• Place your targets on dirt or gravel areas clear of vegetation and avoid shooting into rocky areas. Placing a target in dry grass increases the risk of fire.
• Be aware that all types of ammunition can start fires under the right conditions, especially steel core ammunition.
• Bring a container of water. This may seem obvious, but shooters often fail to bring enough water to put a fire out. A five gallon bucket of water readily available while shooting could prevent a disaster if a fire does start.
• Bring a shovel. Use the shovel to dig a trench around your targets before shooting to ensure that any fire caused by sparks can be easily contained.
• Shoot at quality steel targets designed to minimize risks to both the shooter and the environment. For steel targets to be functional and safe, they should be made of high quality through hardened steel that has a Brinell hardness number of at least 500.
• Don’t shoot trash. Trash like old couches and TVs can often be found illegally dumped on public land but can be dangerous fire hazards when shot.
• Please shoot responsibly and clean up after shooting.

Affected areas include the following:
BLM – All areas, roads and trails on the BLM-Carson City District outside of developed recreation sites with the exception of Sand Mountain Recreation Area

BIA - All lands administered by the BIA located within or adjacent to the BLM NV Carson City District. Approximately 300 allotments encompassing 59,310 acres in Douglas County, Nevada, within the Carson Watershed that the U.S. Government (BIA) holds in trust for hundreds of individual Indian landowners, collectively known as the Pine Nut Allotments.

USFWS - All areas, roads and trails within the boundaries of the Stillwater, Anaho Island and Fallon National Wildlife Refuges. Campfires are prohibited on these refuge lands year-round.

As fire season continues the BLM, BIA and USFWS will say they will cite those who do not comply with the posted restrictions. Violation of these prohibitions is subject to punishment by a fine and/or imprisonment (agency statutes vary). People may also be responsible for resource damage, suppression costs and any injuries that occur if they are found liable for causing a wildfire.

For more information or clarification on the restrictions, please contact the BLM-Carson City District Office at 775-885-6000; the BIA at 775-887-3500; and the USFWS at 775-423-5128.

See the attached PDF for a list of Carson City-specific restrictions.