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Nevada forester quits after criticism of runaway prescribed burn

Updated April 4, 2017 - 8:53 pm

RENO — Nevada’s state forester has resigned less than two months after an independent review criticized the way the Nevada Division of Forestry responded to a prescribed burn that sparked an October wildfire, destroying 23 homes south of Reno.

Bradley Crowell, director of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, announced Monday that Joe Freeland was stepping down. He said forestry division Deputy Administrator Kacey KC will serve as interim forester until a permanent replacement is named. She’s the first woman to hold that position.

Crowell didn’t provide a reason for Freeland’s resignation. Freeland told KRNV-TV in Reno it would be inappropriate to discuss the matter publicly.

Among other things, an independent investigation into the handling of the wildfire in Washoe Valley north of Carson City concluded state crews were understaffed despite repeated warnings about unstable, windy weather.

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