Ely – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District on January 11 handed off the keys for a fire engine to the Pahranagat Valley Volunteer Fire District. The transfer was made possible by the BLM’s Rural Fire Readiness (RFR) program, which was developed to provide local cooperators with firefighting equipment to increase their wildland fire response capabilities.
“We serve as first responders to wildfires on public lands within our district through an agreement with the BLM. This engine allows us to better accomplish what the BLM needs us to,” said Steve Meldrum, Pahranagat Valley Volunteer Fire District Chief.
“We thank the Pahranagat Valley Volunteer Fire District for its long-term contribution to wildland firefighting and strong partnership with the BLM. It is essential partnerships such as this that help to provide for a safe, efficient and effective wildfire response in eastern Nevada,” said Leevi Ahlvers, BLM Ely District mitigation specialist.
The RFR program provides equipment no longer needed by the BLM to wildland fire partners that meet eligibility requirements. These requirements include serving a rural community or area and having wildland fire protection responsibilities, participating in a cooperative fire protection agreement with the BLM, and being near BLM-administered lands and responding in support of the agency when available and needed. Meldrum credited Ahlvers and the volunteer fire district’s Emergency Management Coordinator Derek Bowman and Firefighter Kenyon Walch for making the transfer possible. “They put in the labor that brought this about,” he said.
The BLM accepts RFR applications from local and tribal fire departments for available vehicles, equipment, and supplies, and transfers excess items in the months prior to fire season. For more information on the RFR program, visit the BLM Rural Fire Readiness webpage at: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/rural-fire-readiness-program