Six months have passed since the start of the Jones fire. An early morning lightning strike in the Yuba River Canyon started the 705 Acre Jones Fire. This same weather system sparked numerous other devastating fires in California. Thanks to the heroic efforts of local and mutual aid fire fighters, the Jones Fire was suppressed before reaching Nevada City. This fire destroyed numerous structures including the foot bridges on the Independence Trail, 10 private properties, 4 of these lost their main home and the remaining 6 lost other structures, as well as two homes and numerous outbuildings at the Woolman School. Thankfully, no lives were lost.
Shortly after the fire was extinguished, County staff came together and went to work providing immediate assistance to neighbors who suffered fire losses. The Auditor's Office and the Office of Emergency Services teams have been working tirelessly to ensure the Woolman School, Bear Yuba Land Trust, and County are properly reimbursed through FEMA and the State for Jones Fire related response and recovery costs. The County has also been supporting the mitigation of environmental impacts of the Jones Fire and assistance to residents with debris removal.
County Environmental Health has partnered with residents, OES and CAL OES every step of the way to make sure Rush Creek and the Yuba River are protected from burn scar runoff caused by seasonal rains. They have also ensured properties have been identified for debris removal, and residents have received County support in applying for the State’s Personal Property Debris Removal Program. Under this program, debris removal is organized and funded by the State at no cost to residents (less insurance).
Wednesday marked not only the 6-month anniversary of the Jones Fire, but it also saw the start of debris removal operations on Newtown Road. The Woolman School has also been approved for the Personal Property Debris Removal Program and should see debris removal operations commence in the coming months.
"While fire losses are traumatic and the road to recovery is long, Nevada County residents can take pride in knowing staff is doing everything we can to make our neighbors whole again," said Paul Cummings, OES Program Manager.