Southern Nevada in for a long wildfire season - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Southern Nevada in for a long wildfire season

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MT. CHARLESON (FOX5) -

While the top of Mt. Charleston still has snow on it, Nevada Division of Forestry firefighters said there just wasn't enough of it this year.

"We're about half the average rainfall, sitting around 9 inches right now. We do have some dry conditions right now. … We do have the makings for an aggressive fire season this year," said Damien Gusmerotti, fire captain with the Nevada Division of Forestry.

While crews across Southern Nevada are hoping for the best, they're preparing for the worst, coming up with strategy for different areas, and making sure they've got all the gear they need.

Large wildfires are not unheard of on Mt. Charleston.

In 2010, the Cathedral Fire burned 20 acres between the Rainbow and Cathedral subdivisions, and forced about 200 people out of their homes.

Since then, Gusmerotti said his crews have learned some lessons.

"We have recognized that this mountain does have the fuels, the weather and topography to support extreme fire behavior. The Forest Service has put in some natural fire breaks, and we've been working hard at education and prevention," Gusmerotti told FOX5.

But wildfires can also happen off the mountain, and while the Clark County Fire Department mainly has urban firefighting crews, it also has crews able to handle rural fires.

"We do train our firefighters in those areas… certifications for wildland fire suppression," said Fire Chief Mike Johnson with the Clark County Fire Department.

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