Nevada County and Placer County public safety agencies will host a wildfire prevention and preparedness town hall Wednesday, April 24, from 6-8 p.m. at Alder Creek Middle School in Truckee.
The town hall will begin with a brief introduction from CAL FIRE’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Chief Brian Estes and will be followed by a question-and-answer panel with local fire, law enforcement and emergency response representatives. Ted Owens, former Truckee Town Council member and Nevada County supervisor, will moderate the meeting. A resource fair will be available before and after the town hall, with many local agencies hosting booths to share preparedness information with residents.
Wildfire knows no bounds and requires agencies from the local, state and federal levels working in coordination to address the scale of the issue at hand.
Representatives from CAL FIRE, Truckee Police Department and Emergency Services, Truckee Fire Protection District, Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, Placer County Office of Emergency Services, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, Placer County Fire Safe Alliance, Liberty Utilities, Truckee Donner Public Utility District, Truckee Donner Unified School District, Northstar Fire District, Tahoe National Forest, California Highway Patrol and Tahoe Forest Hospital will participate in the town hall.
"Wildfire safety really begins at home," said Truckee Fire Protection District Chief Bill Seline. "We’re looking forward to a good discussion with our neighbors about the things we’re doing to help reduce wildfire risk, and we hope everyone leaves with a better understanding of what they can be doing to help."
"We all need to do everything we can to help reduce the risk of wildfire, and just as importantly, we all need to be prepared for what to do in the event of a wildfire evacuation," said Truckee Chief of Police Robert Leftwich. "Personal preparation is key. We can collaborate and help provide the tools to build the plan, but everyone having a personal evacuation guide and being ready is where we can make a huge impact towards our success in an evacuation scenario. "
The meeting comes on the heels of two screenings of "Wilder Than Wild," in Truckee, a documentary about the changing nature of California wildfires that has been sparking discussion for several months among residents of both Nevada and Placer counties.
"The large-scale wildfires that we have seen in California over the past decade have put everyone in both counties on high alert," said Capt. Jeff Pettitt from the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services. "We are all in this together and the town hall is an effective way to encourage citizens to be proactive by creating defensible space and hardening their homes against wildfire."
Town hall organizers chose to hold the meeting at Alder Creek Middle School because it has the capacity to seat up to 500 people and want to encourage as much participation as possible. Recent wildfire prevention meetings in both counties have drawn hundreds of people, and on occasion residents have had to be turned away due to lack of capacity. The middle school is expected to accommodate Truckee’s turn out. However, if residents are unable to attend, this event will also be live streamed by Truckee Tahoe Community Television.