Fire and water

Like a good news/bad news joke, the U.S. Drought Monitor adjudges Nevada to be nearly free of drought while forestry and fire officials say the state faces “above normal, significant wildfire potential” just ahead.

Ten months ago, the Drought Monitor had most of Nevada either “abnormally dry” or in “moderate drought.” Today, a map on the Drought Monitor’s website shows Nevada entirely in white, meaning the intensity of drought is seen as “none.”

In the last couple of years, 2.3 million acres burned in the state, including parts of Lamoille, one of the few areas in the state with New England-type scenery.

Wetter-than-usual weather is likely to reduce fires in the mountains this year, but wildfires elsewhere will be a constant danger.

There is also rising danger from humans. Last year, for the first time, most of the 600-plus fires in the state were caused by people.

—Dennis Myers