Upper Colony at Risk

Smith Valley’s Upper Colony community is one of many Nevada communities threatened by wildfire. Faced with the growing potential for loss of human life and property because of wildfire, Nevada’s local, state and federal firefighting agencies, Nevada Fire Safe Council and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension have come together to promote the FAC concept. They believe this is the best response to the wildfire threat.

There are proven steps that homeowners can take to improve the odds of human life and home survival during wildfire. The purpose of this publication, “Fire Adapted Communities: The Next Step in Wildfire Preparedness - Upper Colony” is to promote and teach these steps. This publication was “tailor-ft” for the Upper Colony community using input from the Upper Colony Chapter of the Nevada Fire Safe Council, Smith Valley Conservation District, Smith Valley Fire Protection District and Lyon County Office of Emergency Management. Once implemented at the neighborhood level, these recommendations will assist Upper Colony in becoming a Fire Adapted Community.

Who Wins, Who Loses

Why do some houses survive a wildfire, while others are destroyed? Research findings prove that house survival during wildfire is not random, miraculous, or luck. Rather, it is the features of the house, the characteristics of the adjacent vegetation and other fuels, and routine maintenance that often determine which homes burn and which survive. These types of actions are called pre-fire activities. Pre-fire activities are actions completed before a wildfire occurs that improve the survivability of people and the home. The winners will be the people who implement pre-fire activities. When everyone in the neighborhood completes their pre-fire activities, they start becoming a FAC.

Fire Adapted Community (FAC):

A community located in a fire-prone area that requires little assistance from firefighters during a wildfire. Residents of these communities accept responsibility for living in a high fire-hazard area. They possess the knowledge and skills to…

  • Prepare their homes and property to survive wildfire.
  • Evacuate early, safely and effectively.
  • Survive, if trapped by wildfire.
Smith, E., Sistare, S., Nejedlo, G 2012, Fire Adapted Communities: The Next Step in Wildfire Preparedness - Upper Colony Fire Safe Chapter Smith Valley, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, SP-12-03

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Associated Programs

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Living With Fire

Helping Nevadans and visitors prepare for wildfire