Last Friday, December 7th, the County hosted a Wildfire Prevention Stakeholder Meeting, gathering nearly 50 community leaders from 30 different organizations and agencies at the Grass Valley Veterans' Hall for two hours to discuss how allied agencies can work together to increase opportunities to make our community resilient to wildfire. Representatives from local fire departments; California State Parks; Tahoe National Forest; CalTrans; Bear Yuba River Land Trust; Fire Safe Council of Nevada County; Coalition of Fire Wise Communities; Nevada County Resource Conservation District; Nevada Irrigation District; Sierra Business Council; Nevada County Superintendent of Schools; UC Cooperative Extension; Yuba Watershed Institute; local cities; County staff from Public Works, Office of Emergency Services, and the Community Development Agency; and more attended.
The initial objective of the meeting was to bring together community organizations with a shared wildfire prevention mission to establish an ongoing coordinated approach to wildfire prevention priorities, plans and projects. Each organization or agency shared their mission and their current projects, learning from each other about funding opportunities, hazardous vegetation enforcement efforts, local hazardous vegetation programs, and more.
Looking forward, the County plans to continue facilitating this community stakeholder process for wildfire, increasing the momentum and collaboration already established by the many organizations and agencies working on wildfire prevention in Nevada County. Collectively, the group will track state and federal funding opportunities and identify opportunities to collaborate across jurisdictions on fire prevention projects, such as fuel treatments and fuel breaks. In addition, the group will work together to update the Community Wildfire Prevention Plan and the Nevada County portion of CAL FIRE’s Unit Strategic Fire Plan. One goal identified by members of the group is to map fire prevention projects that are in the queue, in progress, or have been completed. From this large stakeholder group, smaller work groups will focus on various initiatives, such as outreach and education and evacuation planning/preparedness, to continue progress in wildfire prevention efforts.
Wildfire reduction has been a top priority and area of focus for the Board of Supervisors, including supporting and working with community partners. The Wildfire Community Stakeholder group will continue to meet quarterly to collaborate amongst allied agencies working on wildfire prevention. By approaching wildfire prevention collaboratively, Nevada County will be poised to maximize state and federal resources to achieve a greater impact for the community.