Access & Functional Needs (AFN)


The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is accepting applications for the Access and Functional Needs Program through which residents can receive defensible space clearing services within 100’ of their homes.


Defensible space is the first line of defense against wildfire and is created by removing highly flammable vegetation including tall grasses, heavy brush, and tree branches lower than 10 feet off the ground. Defensible space clearing will be performed by Fire Safe Council crews.


Low-income senior residents, or individuals with disabilities, can receive defensible space clearing services within 100’ of their homes. Applicants should be prepared to supply proof of residency, medical disability, and income. Income qualifications are based on HUD/HCD criteria.


Complete this application.pdf and send with appropriate supporting documentation to FSCNC (Fire Safe Council of Nevada County). You have several ways to send your application.

  • email to kate.benton@areyoufiresafe.com
  • fax to 530-648-1122
  • postal mail to po box 1112, Grass Valley, CA 95945
  • in person at 143B Spring Hill Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

If you need help completing the application, call us at 530-272-1122 or call Connecting Point at  2-1-1, or 1-833-DIAL211 (1-833-342-5211).


This program is being funded and managed in cooperation with The County of Nevada, CalOES (California Governor's Office of Emergency Services), FEMA and The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, with support from United Way of Nevada County.


We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you get started:

Question - What is the age requirement to be considered a senior citizen?

Answer - The current minimum age for qualification is 65.

Question - What is the income limitation for qualifying?

Answer – Income requirements change annually so be sure to check back. In 2022 a 2-person household cannot have more than $78,700.00 annually. The income cap also changes based on the number of people in the household. Income tables listed here: https://www.hcd.ca.gov/docs/grants-and-funding/inc2k22.pdf

Question - I am a renter- can I apply?

Answer – Yes! With the Permission to complete work from property owner.

Question - I have a lot of big trees on my property - can you take them down?

Answer – Maybe. This will depend on the inspection report and the prescription. If a large tree is deemed too dangerous to leave in place, we would hire out that removal to a local contractor.

Question - What does “defensible space clearing” mean?

Answer - Defensible Space Requirements as stated in California Public Resource Code 4291 will be established in the following ways:

1) Create defensible space of one hundred (100') feet from each side and from the front and rear of the Structure to the property line.

2) Remove the portion of a tree that extends within ten (10') feet of the outline of a chimney or stovepipe.

3) Climbing vines must be removed from trees and Structures within the one hundred (100') foot defensible space zone around Structure(s).

4) Ensure trees, shrubs, or other plants adjacent to or overhanging a building are free of dead or dying wood.

5) Remove all leaves, needles, or other vegetative materials from the roof of structure(s).

6) Remove ladder fuels within the one hundred (100') foot Defensible Space area around structure(s).


If funds are available after the above work is complete, implement the following:

1) Remove Ladder Fuels to a minimum of a ten (10') foot wide strip of land beyond the shoulder of a roadway serving as primary ingress and egress to the parcel, and to a height of fifteen (15') feet along the boundary of a Parcel.


These are just a few answers to the most frequently asked questions. Please be sure to inquire if you have any other questions.