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Roosters Comb Fire

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Elko District Office
Bureau of Land Management
3900 East Idaho Street Elko NV 89801 Nevada
Elko, NV 89801

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What Happens After the Roosters Comb Fire is Out?

Roosters Comb Fire Wildfire
News – 7/15/2017

News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2017 CONTACT: Gregory Deimel at 775-738-0386,

What Happens After the Roosters Comb Fire is Out?

BATTLE MOUNTAIN, Nev. The spread of the Roosters Comb fire has been stopped and many firefighters and equipment are being released. Even though this fire has been contained, work on the incident is far from over. Efforts are already underway to repair any damage that suppression activities caused, and much work remains to assess the impacts of the fire on wildlife habitat, livestock grazing operations, and private and public infrastructure such as fences, power poles, roads and buildings.

From the start of the fire, local resource advisors have been working alongside the firefighters and heavy equipment to minimize damage to natural and cultural resources. And as soon as the suppression efforts stopped the spread of the fire, some of those firefighters and mechanical equipment were put to work to minimize any adverse impacts caused by suppression efforts. For example, fire lines built by hand or heavy equipment in steep terrain can become erosion hazards during wet weather. In the repair process, efforts are being made to make sure that runoff water will not concentrate and cause excessive erosion.

Under the leadership of Resource Advisor and local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee Dan Zvirzdin, a detailed report is being prepared that outlines all resource damage the fire and suppression activities caused on both public and private land. Using this report, an “Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ES&R) Team” will be formed to develop rehabilitation goals and methods. Membership on this team will include affected federal and state agency representatives, landowners, and non-governmental organizations.

According to Zvirzdin, one major challenge to rehabilitating the Rooster Comb fire will be reestablishing the perennial grass and sagebrush habitat that wildlife and ranchers depend upon. The invasive annual cheatgrass is the biggest threat. “Post-fire restoration in the high desert is such a challenge because it requires a delicate combination of the right seed mix, appropriate reseeding methods, good timing, and luck. When invasive species are added into the equation, all bets are off,” he said. “One particular challenge is finding the right balance in selecting between the native plant species wildlife depend upon and the introduced species that compete more aggressively with cheatgrass.”

The fire caused extensive damage to range improvements and infrastructure on both public and private lands. Wooden fences have been damaged, powerline poles were burnt over, a large haystack was consumed, several wildlife guzzlers (watering facilities) were destroyed, and a mine outbuilding was burned.

The affected stakeholders have a lot of work ahead in recovering the resources that were lost and in preventing further damages through the implementation of the plan formulated by the ES&R Team.


Photos associated with the story can be downloaded from Flickr: - Fire fighters work hard to rehabilitate a dozer-constructed fireline after it has served its purpose on the Roosters Comb Fire in Northern Nevada. July 14, 2017. - Completed suppression repair on a dozer-constructed line on the Roosters Comb fire in northern Nevada. July 14, 2017.