View of the Reno Sparks night skyline from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
View of the Reno Sparks night skyline from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
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Firefighters warn of dangers from improper disposal of fireplace ashes in advance of the second anniversary of the Washoe Drive Fire.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Charles A. Moore, Fire Chief

Reno, Nevada. Jan. 17, 2014. Firefighters from the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) have partnered with Carter Bros. Ace Hardware in Reno to provide residents with an opportunity to obtain an ash can for the proper disposal of fireplace ashes. The ash cans are available free of charge if residents meet the criteria as listed on the application.

“This Sunday, Jan.19, marks the two year anniversary of the Washoe Drive Fire, which was caused by the improper disposal of fireplace ashes,” said TMFPD Chief Charles Moore. “We remind everyone of the fire dangers this season can bring and how crucial it is to properly dispose of woodstove and fireplace ashes.”

One resident lost her life, 29 homes were destroyed and 3,178 acres burned in the Washoe Drive Fire. The fire caused more than 10,000 people to be evacuated and cost an estimated $4.5 million in property losses in southern Washoe County. The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District and several community partners are participating in a campaign to educate residents on the proper disposal of ashes. The ash can educational program includes a timeline video of the Washoe Drive Fire and a step-by-step on how to dispose of ashes.  

“I look at this program as a partnership with the community,” said Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung. “If this will prevent one fire and save just one life, the community must embrace the fact that we all need to be extremely careful with fireplace ashes.”

To obtain a free ash can, residents of Washoe County may fill out the application listed on the TMFPD website, and if the required criteria are met, an ash can will be provided. Inside each ash can, residents will find a flyer that will provide the information needed to safely and properly dispose of fireplace ashes. There are a limited number of ash cans available at this time, so they will be provided to qualifying residents on a first come, first served basis. Residents may also purchase an ash can directly from Carter Bros. Hardware or other hardware stores.

TMFPD said it may take 7-10 business days to process the application and have a can be delivered to the nearest TMFPD Fire Station for pick up. TMFPD will contact you when your can is available for pick up. If you reside in the City of Reno or City of Sparks Fire Districts, once approved you can obtain your can at the TMFPD District Headquarters at 1001 E. Ninth St. Building D, Second Floor. Please note that residents will need to have some type of wood burning heating appliance to be considered for the program.

The Ash Can Program received generous donations from the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and Peppermill Resort Spa Casino for the purchase of additional ash cans to benefit the residents of Washoe County and to promote the proper disposal of fireplace ashes, contributing to the safety of the community.

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Editor’s note:  Washoe County and the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District would like to thank the community partners supporting this program including: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, 4-H,  Boy Scouts of America, Carter Bros. ACE Hardware, Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada and the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

Two 30-second Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are also available online: PSA 1 | PSA 2.