Our network

Thick Brush Offers Scary Possibilities for Wildfire Season | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Thick Brush Offers Scary Possibilities for Wildfire Season

LAS VEGAS -- A rainy spring has left the Las Vegas valley vulnerable to raging wildfires. There is literally a carpet of brush and weeds in spots never seen before, and it's just part of the reason firefighters are watching the mountains with fear.

The red brome weed has all turned brown and dry. The problem is the weed has invaded acres of land in southern Nevada. Firefighters are concerned it will provide a consistent fuel for fires to spread.

This year, wildland firefighters predict a busy fire season. Bureau of Land Management firefighter Chris Delaney walks through the Red Rock desert paying extra close attention to the red brome.

"In a typical year in southern Nevada, you wouldn't see quite as heavy as a grass crop as we have now. Not only quite as much but as continuous," he said.

Delaney is concerned because acres of red brome have grown at Red Rock. The likely cause was the consistent winter rain. Now the red brome has turned dry and brittle, perfect fuel for a fast moving blaze.

"With the fuel we see now, there's really no continuous fuel break between here and the Red Rock escarpment," said Delaney.

Delaney says there is so much red brome, there's no doubt a fire fueled by our strong winds would spread quicker than someone trying to outrun it."To say we could get a wildfire right now in here and a couple of hours and be across the landscape is a realistic possibility."

Firecrews from all government lands are now on fire watch. High fire dangers and restrictions have all been posted and now crews wait to see if and when the battle between man and blaze will begin.

Firefighters are asking everyone to follow all fire restrictions on government lands -- no smoking outside your vehicle, campfires in designated campgrounds only, and no fireworks or steel jacket ammunition are allowed on government lands.


Summerlin Deals