Fire officials, residents prepare for wildfire season - 8 News NOW

Fire officials, residents prepare for wildfire season

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LAS VEGAS - Nearly a year has passed since the Carpenter 1 fire scorched 28,000 acres on Mount Charleston. State leaders are making efforts to prevent another massive blaze.

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service say a lot of damage remains at Mount Charleston.

Some grass is starting to grow, but it can take an estimated five to ten years for bushes to grow, and trees take longer.

U.S. Forest Service officials say most of the area affected by the Carpenter 1 fire is still damaged, posing a flood risk.

Some residents in the area say they already have plans in place if wildfires erupt again this year.

"My in-laws live down the hill, so we have to obviously need to keep them into consideration to make sure that, you know, we know where everybody is and make sure that we check in with everybody,” said Mt. Charleston resident Brian Howe. “If we need to move, he's got stuff ready to go and we can get out if we need to."

Hotter temperatures and dry vegetation combine to create the perfect recipe for a wildfire. Lake Mead Recreation Area officials say it doesn't take much to spark a wildfire.

State and federal agencies are holding events this week to ensure people are prepared.

The state already has fire restrictions in place. Those restrictions mandate no open charcoal fires in the desert, and campfires need to be in a confined area like a campground with fire pits.

“We want to protect the infrastructure that's around here, as well as the families and the homes who are out here who could be impacted by wildfires," said Christie Vanover with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Flooding is also a concern. When the Carpenter 1 fire burned thousand of acres, it removed natural defenses against flooding.

Days of rain last July sent mud and debris down the mountain and into the northwest part of the valley. The water flooded several streets and stranded residents.

A major construction project is underway to prevent future flooding. Crews will install an underground drainage system that is expected to be completed early next year.

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