Firewise Communities in Nevada County-Firewise USA®

An excellent resource for communities and their resident leaders is the Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities, which meets quarterly to share information, resources, and best practices for maintaining Firewise USA® Community recognition. Sign-up for email notifications of meetings. Extensive info can be found on their website

We have 3 ways to get started.

  • Are you in a Firewise USA® community already? Use the interactive GIS map to find out.
  • If you reside or have a home in Western Nevada County (Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, South County, North San Juan, or Hwy 174) your Firewise USA(R) Regional Coordinator is Pat Leach and can be reached at If you have questions about what region or contact is assigned to you, please reach out to Pat through email. Pat can assist you on how to get the process started.
  • If you reside or have a home in the Truckee-Tahoe region your Firewise USA(R) Regional Coordinator is Jason Hajduk-Dorworth and can be reached at This region includes the eastern area of Nevada County as well as portions of Placer and Sierra County. If you have questions about what region or contact is assigned to you please reach out to Jason. The Eastern Regional Firewise Coalition (ERFC) has been created to focus on the unique needs, seasons, and issues of this area and the Firewise communities that reside here. You can contact the ERFC here ( or visit the website ( for more information.

Firewise USA® Communities

In 2008, the board of directors of the Fire Safe Council Nevada County voted to change their mission to include promotion, development, and retention of formal Firewise USA® Communities in Nevada County.

Why? Scientific research has proven that when adequately prepared, a house has a better chance to withstand a wildland fire without the intervention of fire suppression services. And when firefighters do make a stand to save a home, Firewise USA® Communities provide a safer working environment to help make a nearly impossible job possible.

The goal is to encourage and acknowledge action that can minimize home loss to wildfire. It teaches you to prepare for a fire before it occurs. It teaches you to work together as a community to address wildfire. The program adapts especially well to small communities, developments, and residential associations of all types, but can work for any neighborhood where motivated homeowners band together to create a safer environment. As of May 1, 2024, the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is Regional Coordinator for 98 Firewise USA® Communities in Nevada County, 2 Firewise USA® Communities in Sierra County, and is assisting 9 Firewise USA® Communities in Placer County within the Truckee Fire District.

Briefly, being a Firewise USA® Community involves:

  • Forming a committee to maintain the program and tracking its progress or status.
  • Observe a Firewise Communities USA® Day each year that is dedicated to a local Firewise project. This can take the form of a potluck with a speaker and literature, a workday for clearing roadsides, or other events.
  • Invest a minimum of $31.80 per residence annually in Firewise projects in your home or neighborhood. This is NOT a fee or membership -- hours worked by volunteers on clearing roadsides, creating defensible space; or investment in home hardening, vegetation mitigation, equipment purchase or rentals, etc. have a dollar value that you can track and count toward the requirement.
  • Report annually online to your private NFPA Firewise USA® portal to document continuing compliance with the program. It's an easy process to fill in the blanks regarding your neighborhood activities, hours spent, etc.
  • Plus every three years your community updates their Action Plan, and every five years your Risk Assessment is updated keeping your community's details current.

To learn more on how your neighborhood can become a Firewise Community, contact us or visit menu topic Education and Research > Wildfire > Firewise USA(R). If you are the Resident Leader for an existing Firewise USA® community and are tracking hours and dollars spent on projects, the portal for entering that information is here:

NOTE: Per Cal Fire, all 3-year Action Plans must now be submitted on the new template found here or on your Portal. Other formats will be rejected: California_3Year_Action_Plan_Template.docx

Is your Firewise Community updating your Risk Assessment this year? NFPA has a new video with guidance at (Copy, Paste and Go): Risk Assessment Tutorial  Email Pat Leach - - for assistance when you are ready to start and have completed reviewing the NFPA website and its videos/tutorials. 

See current map of recognized Firewise USA(R) communities in Nevada County here: 1_CountyWideFWCMap_34x44P_2023_E.png

Please understand this program is growing rapidly and there may be a delay in showing all Recognized Firewise communities.

Since 2007 when Lake Wildwood became the first Firewise USA(R) Community in the county, Residents have recorded $79,018,319.65 of time and expense in creating a more fire-resilient landscape. Thank you Neighbors!

Recognized Firewise USA®Communities:

Firewise Communities "In-Training" - Currently Being Assessed:

The communities below have Maps and Assessments started, need Action Plans and/or to enter Mitigation Data on NFPA Portal:   

Requesting to be Firewise Communities

The communities below are working on Map boundary and elements necessary to become a recognized NFPA Firewise USA(R) Community.

  • Blind Shady
  • Cascade Crossing
  • Clover Road
  • Gold Drive
  • Grass Valley
  • Hidden Valley
  • Ladera Lane
  • Lodestar HOA
  • Maidu Trail Neighborhood
  • Mirror Lake
  • Morgan Ranch
  • Penn Valley
  • Post Chaise
  • Round Valley
  • Sky Pines Estates
  • Smiley's Pond
  • Tahoe Timber Trails
  • The Palisades
  • Valcormiss
  • West Grass Valley
  • Winter Creek

Are you in a Firewise USA® community? Use the interactive GIS map to find out.