Current Events & News
Fire Safe Council of Nevada County Elects New Directors
Grass Valley, December 4, 2012. The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County (FSCNC) has seated a new board of directors to assist in their goal of reducing the risk of life, property and natural resources to wildfire. All directors are committed to a successful council that will implement defensible space programs and community projects that benefit the residents of Nevada County.
The FSCNC is a non-profit, local volunteer organization dedicated to making Nevada County safe from catastrophic wildfire. The FSCNC provides onsite home education on how to create defensible space, community outreach, formal fuel break projects, a chipping program and other services to assist homeowners in understanding and creating defensible space around their home. A Special Needs Assistance Program helps low-income seniors and/or disabled citizens clear defensible space free of charge.
The board welcomes Tina Costella a Botanist/Biologist to the board as a new director. Vic Ferrera, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services was elected as chairman; David Hanson, Nevada County Consolidated Fire Department was elected as Vice-Chair; Rick Nolle, Broker with Network Real Estate, remained Treasurer and Dennis Cassella, Retired Director of Emergency Services for Nevada County was elected Secretary.
New Term Directors are: Tina Costella, Botanist/Biologist; Dennis Cassella Retired Director of Emergency Services for Nevada County; Gene Vander Plaats, Fire Chief’s Association; Bill Houdyschell, Tahoe-Donner Association; Ryan Murano, Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District; Dave Stonum, Cal Fire and Rand Smith, PG&E.
Other Fire Safe Council Board Directors include: Bill Drown, Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council; Jeff Dunning, Allstate Insurance; Vic Ferrera, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services; David Hanson, Nevada County Consolidated Fire Department; Warren Knox, Greater Champion Neighborhood Association; Rob Paulus, Retired CAL Fire; Hank Weston, County Supervisor with Ted Owens, County Supervisor as his alternate. Brian Mulhollen, Bureau of Land Management serves as an Associate Director.
The FSCNC is a non-profit, local volunteer organization dedicated to making Nevada County safe from catastrophic wildfire.
GREATER ALTA SIERRA COMMUNITY RECEIVES NATIONAL FIREWISE AWARD
(GRASS VALLEY, November 12, 2012) The Greater Alta Sierra Community has been recognized as a Firewise Communities/USA® site by the National Fire Protection Association for their efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscape to wildfire. The award will be presented this Saturday, November 17th at 12:00pm at the Alta Sierra Pizza & Grill’s lower parking area located at the corner of Highway 49 and Alta Sierra Drive. In the event of rain, the celebration will be conducted at fire station 88, located at Highway 49 and LaBarr Meadows Road.
The public is invited to attend the festive occasion which will include the children’s education trailer from Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, appearances by Smokey Bear, demonstrations on the proper use of a fire extinguisher and information on how to prepare your home and family for emergencies including wildfire. Free drawings will be held throughout the event for haircuts from The Clip Shop, Fire Safe t-shirts and Smokey Bear items.
“The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is proud to have partnered with the Greater Alta Sierra community with education and programs to help them earn this prestigious recognition of their efforts to create a more fire safe environment”, said Fire Safe Council Executive Director, Joanne Drummond. “We encourage all communities in Nevada County to become more fire safe through a collaborative community effort.”
Award presentation guest speakers include Nevada County Consolidated Fire Chief, David Ray, Nevada County Supervisor Ed Scofield, Alta Sierra Property Owners Vice President Lee French and Greater Alta Sierra Firewise Community Chairman Peter Beesley.
The Greater Alta Sierra Firewise Community has also been working on the ground to mitigate wildfire. This spring, two projects helped reduce the wildfire hazard with a third being implemented currently. The first two projects were conducted on the Adam Ryan Preserve owned by the Bear Yuba Land Trust at the corner of Alta Sierra Drive and Dog Bar Road. The Bureau of Land Management is now working on reducing hazardous wildfire fuels on their property behind homes on George Way. The Firewise Community Wildfire Hazard Assessment was instrumental in focusing these efforts. To view the assessment and community action plan visit: http://www.areyoufiresafe.com/get-involved/firewise-communities/alta-sierra-firewise-community/
Greater Alta Sierra Firewise Committee Chairman, Peter Beesley (right), leads volunteers in removing Scotch Broom on the Adam Ryan Preserve at the corner of Alta Sierra Drive and Dog Bar Roads last spring.
Fire Safe Council of Nevada County to Bolster
Fire Prevention Efforts with FM Global Grant
GRASS VALLEY, Calif.—The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County has received a $3,000 fire prevention grant from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers.
FM Global representatives presented the award to Executive Director, Joanne Drummond at the Nevada County Fair located on McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. The award will be used to assist with fire prevention activities in the community to help educate the community and reduce the number of fires.
Because fire continues to be the leading cause of property damage worldwide, during the past 35 years FM Global has contributed millions of dollars in fire prevention grants to fire service organizations around the globe. Locally, the company has awarded grants to a number of California-based organizations
“At FM Global, we strongly believe the majority of property damage is preventable, not inevitable,” said Michael Spaziani, manager of the fire prevention grant program. “Far too often, inadequate budgets prevent those organizations working to prevent fire from being as proactive as they would like to be. With additional financial support, grant recipients are actively helping to improve property risk in the communities they serve.”
Through its Fire Prevention Grant Program, FM Global awards grants quarterly to fire departments—as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations worldwide—that best demonstrate a need for funding, where dollars can have the most demonstrable impact on preventing fire, or mitigating the damage it can quickly cause.
To learn more about FM Global’s Fire Prevention Grant Program, or to apply for a grant, please visit www.fmglobal.com/grants.
For more than 175 years, many of the world’s largest organizations have turned to FM Global to develop cost-effective property insurance and engineering solutions to protect their business operations from fire, natural disasters and other types of property risk. With clients in more than 130 countries, FM Global ranks #572 among FORTUNE magazine’s largest companies in America and is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and AA (Very Strong) by Fitch Ratings. The company has been named “Best Property Insurer in the World” by Euromoney magazine, “Best Global Property Insurer” by Global Finance magazine and was voted “Best Commercial Property Insurer” in Business Insurance’s 2010 annual Readers Choice Awards.
Jose Chavez (left) with FM Global presents the grant award to Joanne Drummond (right), Executive Director of the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County at the Nevada County Fair.
AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region Class XVIII honors
Fire Safe Council of Nevada County
(Grass Valley, CA, August 15, 2012) The AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region Class XVIII recently honored the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County as their Sponsor of the Year at their graduation ceremony in Sacramento, California.
The AmeriCorps NCCC team provided assistance to the council in various fire prevention and environmental programs such as the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP), the Scotch Broom Challenge, and Firewise Communities of Nevada County. Project sponsors provide the team lodging, meals, training, technical supervision and support crew moral. The Fire Safe Council was nominated by the teams they hosted and were selected from over 140 other project sponsors in the Pacific Region to receive the honor.
“We are grateful to the AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region for their partnership to meet our mission to prevent catastrophic wildfire in our community and work hard to be a good host to the team.” said Fire Safe Council Executive Director, Joanne Drummond. “Receiving the honor of being selected as Sponsor of the Year is humbling.”
AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program. During their 10-month term, Corps Members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters (such as wildfire), infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members work on a series of different projects ranging from mentoring students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, wildfire mitigation, cleaning up streams, and address countless other local needs. The Pacific Region campus in Sacramento is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves ten states in the western part of the country. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.
For more information on how to prepare for emergencies and wildfire, visit the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County’s website at www.areyoufiresafe.com or phone (530) 272-1122.
Fire Safe Council Announces Award Recipients
GRASS VALLEY, CA. May 30, 2011. The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County (FSCNC) is giving three awards during their 5th Annual Wine & Culinary Adventure event on June 29th to recognize those dedicated to protecting our community from catastrophic wildfire. The mission of the FSCNC is: To provide Firewise education and programs to enhance emergency preparedness for catastrophic wildfire to all citizens in Nevada County in order to reduce the loss of life, property and natural resources and to promote Firewise Communities; to network with other Fire Safe Councils, Firewise Communities, governmental agencies and foundations for the benefit of the citizens of Nevada County.
Nevada County Consolidated Fire Chief Tim Fike is being recognized as the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. The Volunteer of the year recipient must exemplify the mission of the FSCNC with extensive personal commitment and dedication to programs/projects, community fire protection outreach and/or operational support. Engage in other activities that support the FSCNC in developing partnerships, funding opportunities and/or communicating the fire awareness message. “Tim tirelessly promotes Fire Safe Council services with the community and helped develop Firewise Communities. He helped to train volunteer advisors to educate homeowners on effective defensible space. His dedication to the council is above and beyond the call of duty and worthy of recognition.” said UC Master Gardener and Fire Safe Advisor Lynn Lorenson.
Banner Mountain Homeowners’ Association is being recognized as the 2012 Firewise Community of the Year. The Firewise Community of the Year must exemplify the mission of the FSCNC, have an effective, independent Firewise Committee, and assist in educating their community on fire safe programs, defensible space, and emergency preparedness. They must work and file an annual report to retain the coveted national Firewise designation. Firewise Communities must actively support the FSCNC and Firewise program by enlisting volunteers, sponsoring a Scotch Broom Challenge site and/or complete community fuels reduction projects. “The Banner Mountain Homeowners have done an exceptional job in making their community more fire safe. From live fire demonstrations at their events, to having volunteer advisors trained to help neighbors – they are a model for other communities looking to become Firewise. The individuals in their community have made the difference,” said Battalion Chief David Ray of Nevada County Consolidated Fire District.
AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region is being honored as the 2012 Fire Safe Partner of the Year. The Fire Safe Partner of the Year must exemplify the mission of the FSCNC, provide in-kind or direct program funding support and technical expertise to expand the effectiveness and efficiency of the Councils efforts. Demonstrate leadership by developing community partnerships and expanding community awareness for wildfire mitigation and fire safety. “AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region has provided work crews at no cost to the council to help create defensible space for low income seniors and disabled, implement fuel break projects and assist with burning. The support they have provided over the past year has been invaluable due to the lack of grants available to meet the mission of the council.” said Helene Hall, Fire Safe Council volunteer and member of the BMHOA.
For more information about the Fire Safe Council or Wine & Culinary Adventure where the awards will be given, visit the FSCNC web site at www.areyoufiresafe.com or call (530) 272-1122.
FIRE PREVENTION AT ALTA SIERRA WILDLIFE PRESERVE
May 31, 2012 Grass Valley, CA - Years of fire suppression on forested lands has created a perfect storm in many of our communities and all that is needed to set it off is a spark. To help prevent a catastrophic wildfire in Alta Sierra the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County (FSCNC), The Greater Alta Sierra Firewise Community (GAS FWC) and AmeriCorps NCCC have teamed up with Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) to improve their 40 acre Adam Ryan Wildlife Preserve. The Preserve, located at the intersection of Dog Bar Rd. and Alta Sierra Dr., is home to the Alan Thiesen Trail which is a 1 mile loop trail open to the public.
One June 11 & 12 FSCNC, GAS FWC, and AmeriCorps will lead workdays which will focus on removing dead and dying trees from near the roadsides, pulling scotch broom, thinning ladder fuels and maintaining the trail. To ensure the safety of the public the trail will be closed for these two days. These efforts are all part of the plan to reduce the fire hazard for the preserve and the greater community.
COMMON ENEMY BRINGS COMMUNITY TOGETHER
(Grass Valley, CA) March 6, 2012. Once again, the community has come together to answer the Scotch Broom Challenge issued by the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County (FSCNC.) The Scotch Broom Challenge was created in 2007 to address the spread of this highly flammable and invasive plant in our community. The Scotch Broom Challenge started with just a few sites in Nevada County. In the spring of 2011 over 250 volunteers took the Scotch Broom Challenge and pulled broom at 17 sites throughout Nevada County and Placer County. The goals of the Challenge are to educate the community about this hazardous vegetation in order to control the rapid spread in our county and reduce the fire hazard, provide landowner assistance and implement removal sites. The 2012 Scotch Broom Challenge kicked off last weekend with sites at Champion Mine Rd in Nevada City hosted by Greater Champion Mine Neighborhood and Burton House in Nevada City hosted by Bear Yuba Land Trust.
Leading the Community Effort is the Fire Safe Council. Joanne Drummond, Executive Director of the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County sees the enthusiasm built over the past five years, “Terming this a ‘challenge’ is fitting. Scotch broom’s invasive qualities are evident and highly visible throughout Nevada County. It is exciting to be a part of a massive removal movement with so many individuals and community groups returning to help make Nevada County more Fire Safe!”
Scotch Broom banned in Nevada County In response to the Challenge, Nevada County Agricultural Commissioner, Jeffrey Pylman, issued a letter prohibiting the importation, propagation and sale of broom varieties as ornamental landscaping in Nevada County.
2012 Scotch Broom Challenge Project Sites – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
March 10 - Tyler Foote Rd in North San Juan, hosted by NSJ Fire
March 10 - North Star Mine House in Grass Valley, hosted by Bear Yuba Land Trust
March 10 - Hell’s Half Acre in Grass Valley, hosted by Red Bud Chapter California Native Plant Society
March 17 - Oak Tree Park in North San Juan, hosted by Oak Tree Park District
March 24 - Wolf Creek @ Wolf Rd in Grass Valley, hosted by Wolf Creek Community Alliance
March 24 - Woodpecker on Banner Mountain in Nevada City, hosted by Bear Yuba Land Trust
April 14 - Hirschman Pond in Nevada City, hosted by Bear Yuba Land Trust
April 21 - Gracie Rd & Banner Lava Cap Rd in Nevada City, hosted by Banner Mountain HOA
April 22 - Canyon View Preserve in Auburn, hosted by Placer Land Trust
April 28 - Alan Thiesen in Alta Sierra, hosted by Bear Yuba Land Trust
April 28 - Sugarloaf in Nevada City, hosted by Sierra Nevada Group of The Sierra Club
April 28 & 29 - Scotch Broom workshop, at the Home & Garden Show. Learn how to effective control broom on your property.
Volunteer participants will learn how to identify broom varieties, effective control techniques and proper use of loppers and weed wrenches. To join the Scotch Broom Challenge or for more information on the projects, please contact the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County at (530) 272-1122 or online at www.areyoufiresafe.com.
Funding for Fire Safe Chipping Program
(GRASS VALLEY, California, January 30, 2012) The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County recently received a $20,000 grant award from the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District. The grant will be used to fund the popular Defensible Space Chipping Program.
The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County has been struggling to keep their chipping program operational with memberships and donations. The council continually applies for grants to provide landowner assistance programs to Nevada County residents to make the community safer from wildfire.
Council Executive Director, Joanne Drummond, said “We’re proud to partner with the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District on our chipping program. Their efforts to reduce vehicle trips to the transfer station while avoiding smoke emissions is ongoing. The opportunity to burn vegetative material is extremely limited, whereas the chipping program operates year-round, weather permitting. Providing funding for the chipping program meets multiple goals in the community.”
Residents in need of chipping services must submit a Defensible Space Chipping form. The form is available online at www.areyoufiresafe.com or by calling the Council office at 530-272-1122. The program rotates throughout Nevada County neighborhoods based on a first-come, first-served basis. To receive priority chipping service, people may become a Sustaining Member of the Fire Safe Council for service, generally within two weeks. The chipping program is available to all Nevada County residents regardless of their ability to pay. The Fire Safe Council suggest a donation of $50 per hour for chipping services received to help ensure the program can continue when grant funding is not available.
The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is a non-profit corporation dependent upon grants, private donations, and community volunteers to exist. In addition to the chipping program the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County also provides defensible space clearing for low-income seniors and the disabled, landowner education and assistance programs, the Scotch Broom Challenge, and community fuel break projects.
To find out more about the program, visit the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County’s web site at www.areyoufiresafe.com or phone them at (530) 272-1122.