Once again, Northern Nevada residents are learning how thin the margin can be between just another day and the worst day of their lives.
Sometimes the difference is a crew of Nomex-wearing wildland firefighters keeping a blaze from spreading into a subdivision.
There are hundreds of those firefighters battling flames right now near Carson City, and they've done a great job keeping the fires from any homes or businesses.
So we send a heartfelt thank you to the crews working those fires, and we encourage you to do the same thing if you get the chance.
But another way to thank them is to make their job easier. Every year, as more homes are built in rural areas, their jobs get tougher and more dangerous.
If you are a homeowner in an area susceptible to fires, you can help by making your home firesafe, which could ensure that no firefighters are compelled to put their lives on the line protecting it. That includes keeping your roof clean, trimming vegetation, and making sure a garden hose is always at the ready. For more information, see the story on page A12 of today's paper.
About 75 percent of wildfires in Nevada are caused by lightning, but another 25 percent are caused by humans. We can't do anything about the lightning, but by being more careful, we can cut back on human-caused fires.
If you're a person who spends weekends in the outdoors, that means taking extra precautions with campfires and cook stoves. Always keep water at the ready to douse fires. Don't operate or park vehicles on dry grass or throw cigarettes out windows. Make sure your off-road vehicles have spark arresters. Don't use fireworks.
All those things together can make this a safer fire season, and for that, we're sure the firefighters would thank you.