Almost 750 wildfires have been ignited in Nevada so far this year – and fire season isn’t over yet

“In Nevada we call it a fire year. We don’t really have a traditional fire season,” according to Kacey KC, state forester and fire warden. “We’re still under tight fire restrictions for the state.”

The state saw 50 percent more human-caused wildfires and it’s 14th busiest fire season since 1980, according to Paul Petersen, Bureau of Land Management state fire management officer. In 2019, Nevada had a total of 531 fires –  274 human-caused and 212 lightning-caused. This year, 516 fires have been human-caused and 228 were sparked by lightning.

Roughly 250,000 acres have burned in the state so far this year.

The Meadow Valley Fire that burned through Lincoln County in August was the state’s largest blaze this year, torching roughly 59,000 acres.

But it could have been worse. In California, more than 4 million acres have burned so far, more than double the previous record set in 2018 when 1.67 million acres burned in the state.

State officials attribute part of Nevada’s wildfire fighting success to a new contract with Bridger Aerospace, a Montana-based company that specializes in aerial firefighting services.

The state contracted with the company for up to $5 million in aerial firefighting services, including stationing two CL-415EAF Water Scoopers at the Minden-Tahoe Airport. Petersen estimates Nevada spends about $100 million annually on wildfire suppression.