February 18th, 2018

Conrunner Kevin

Coffee with the Chief

Yesterday morning, we attended "Coffee with the Chief," a series of public meetings hosted by North Lyon County Fire Protection District Chief Scott Huntley, where he talks about how the district is doing and where things are headed. We contributed to the conversation by prompting him to explain on a map of the fire district (which is substantially, but not exactly, the city of Fernley; there is a slight difference) why something like half of the district is a checkerboard of land owned by the Bureau of Land Management. As I pointed out, that goes back to the original Pacific Rail Act in the 1860s; it's the legacy of the every-alternate-section for 20 miles along the right of way of the Central Pacific (later Southern Pacific, now Union Pacific) right-of-way being conveyed to the railroad, while the others were retained by the government. In most cases, the government later sold off those other sections. (A section is one square mile.) However, much of Nevada's government land was never sold. This complicates fire fighting because of course fires don't respect political boundaries. The district has an arrangement where BLM crews are stationed in the district's second fire station during high season. (The district doesn't have enough resources to pay for crews to fully staff the other station.) This means BLM crews don't have to come from Carson City or Winnemucca, and they and the local district cooperate on fighting range fires, which are serious business when much of the district is open range like it is.

I continue to consider running for the fire district board of directors, if I can figure out how to do so. The county clerk's web site doesn't seem to be very helpful. I'm going to have to call them. I hope I don't have to drive to Yerrington to file, but I'll do so if I must.