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Eureka

EurekaEureka is located in southeast Eureka County, Nevada. The town of 446 people is situated at the north end of a narrow canyon with steep slopes. To the north of Eureka is Diamond Valley, a large agricultural farming community which contains numerous ranches of varying sizes.

A team of forest and fire behavior experts assessed the Eureka/Diamond Valley community for its wildfire risk and found that its topography, flammable trees and brush, and other development features contributed to its wildfire risk. For example, although wildland vegetation typically does not encroach into the developed areas of Eureka, fuel hazards in the interface can be extreme. Pinyon and Juniper woodlands located west of the community can be found on steep slopes, with trees 15 feet in height and canopy spacing of 10 to 25 feet between trees. Grazing has helped to minimize excess vegetation, but dense shrublands are interspersed throughout some of the woodlands. In the case of Diamond Valley, clusters of structures are scattered throughout the wildland area and boundaries between wildland fuels and structures are often unclear.

EurekaMost of the homes in interface areas were built with ignition-resistant treated wood siding and fire-resistant roofing materials. Some of these homes, however, have unenclosed balconies, porches, decks or other architectural features that provide areas where sparks and embers can be trapped – left to smolder, ignite, and rapidly spread fire to the home. In addition, historic homes and buildings in the center of Eureka were not constructed with fire-resistant building materials and could be at higher risk.
Other concerns for Eureka/Diamond Valley include unmaintained or flammable vegetation around homes, structures, and electrical utility lines, limited fire suppression capability, and poor signage.

In order to address their wildfire risk, the community formed a Eureka County/Diamond Valley Firewise Board. In cooperation with the Eureka County/Diamond Valley Volunteer Fire Department, the Eureka County/Diamond Valley Firewise Board created a plan of action to achieve national Firewise Communities/USA recognition status.

EurekaIn addition to the plan, a Firewise/Fire Safe Day event was held during the fifth annual Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week (NWAW) (May 1 - 8, 2010) in Eureka. This joint effort by the Eureka Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF), and local volunteer fire departments, attracted over 200 participants.

Participants organized a BBQ, and Future Farmers of America (FFA) students from the local high school sold fire-resistant plants grown in their school greenhouse. Education materials were given to community attendees. As part of the event, volunteers also assisted in piling wood and pulling hazardous weeds for an elderly homeowner.