Official: Southern Nevada faces higher risk of wildfires

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Southern Nevada faces a higher risk of wildfires this summer after winter and spring precipitation fueled more grass and vegetation that could burn, officials said Tuesday.

The above-normal grass growth has rarely been seen in the past decade, Nevada state Forester and Firewarden Kacey KC told Gov. Steve Sisolak during a briefing in Carson City.

The snowpack in northern Nevada and the state’s higher mountain elevations have produced cooler, wetter conditions that make those areas less likely to see as many wildfires this year.

Still, fire officials told Sisolak that they consider the state as a whole to be facing an above-average risk, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .

“When you see how many of these are human-caused, it gives you pause.” Sisolak, who received his first wildfire briefing since becoming governor, said after the meeting.

More fires in Nevada have been caused by humans in recent years. Last year, 60 percent of all the acres burned were the result of human-caused blazes.

Nevada’s worst fire year was 1999, when about 2,800 square miles (7,252 sq. kilometers) burned.