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WIldland Fire Education

Living with Fire - Wildfire Home Retrofit Guide

Northern Nevada Wildfires

In Northern Nevada, wildfires are becoming more and more common. Research around home destruction versus home survival in wildfires point to embers and small flames as the main way that most homes ignite in wildfires. 

There are methods for homeowners to prepare their homes to withstand ember attacks and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fire touching the home or any attachments. This is known as creating defensible space. 

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Defensible Space

The area immediately adjacent to a house is of critical importance to house survival during a wildfire.

From 0 to 5 feet from your house, create a non-combustible area:

Keep it free of all flammable vegetation, including shrubs, fallen needles, and firewood.
Do not use bark or wood mulches, or landscape timbers or board.
From 5 to 30 feet from your house:
Remove dead or dried grass, flowers, branches, shrubs, trees and firewood.
Remove fallen needles and leaves.
Substantially reduce native shrubs, leaving only healthy individual specimens or small groups.
A wildfire can move quickly through an area.  Creating defensible and survivable space is the most important thing you can do to prepare your home for wildfire.


Preparation and planning are key components for the safety of your family and home.  It is important for the community to work together to prepare for wildfire. 

Washoe Code Red is a useful tool for notification in case of an evacuation event whether it be fire, flood, or any other emergency.  Please be sure that you and your family are registered to receive these life-saving notifications.

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Sign Up For Code Red

Washoe County has partnered with the Cities of Reno and Sparks to institute a telephone notification system for use in times of crisis. The system is known as "Code Red." 
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