Friday Memo, County of Nevada
Pleasant Fire, North San Juan

Pleasant Fire Evacuations and Road Closures Lifted

Late in the afternoon on Wednesday, August 30th, the Pleasant Fire started near Peterson's Corner in North San Juan. With low humidity, high heat, and perfect weather conditions for fire, Pleasant Fire quickly expanded to 250 acres with only 10 percent containment by Wednesday evening, threatening over 200 homes and causing evacuations throughout the North San Juan area. The Nevada County Sheriff's Office worked quickly to safely evacuate the residents, while the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services opened the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), organized shelters for the displaced evacuees staffed by Nevada County Social Services and the Red Cross, and worked with Nevada County Geographic Information Systems to create evacuation maps for the public of the fire's evacuation areas, road closures, and evacuation routes. Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit (NEU) worked around the clock to create a fire line and increase the containment of the fire. 

By Thursday afternoon, Pleasant Fire was reported at 280 acres and 40 percent containment, and by Thursday evening all evacuations and road closures were lifted, and Highway 49 was reopened.

The Pleasant Fire is currently reported at 392 acres, an increase due to updated mapping, and remains at 40 percent containment.  Cal Fire NEU firefighters continue to defend structures and strengthen the control line, which is now lined and plumbed. With no evacuations in place, the Nevada County EOC closed this morning.  The shelter at First Baptist Church had no evacuees when the evacuations were lifted and closed shortly after.  The animal shelter at the Nevada County Fairgrounds remained open through the morning giving evacuated residents additonal time to pick-up their animals.

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal says, "The Pleasant Fire is a reminder of how quickly a fire can spread during hot and dry conditions.  Our first priority is the safety of the community, and we are thankful to have had the assistance of many local agencies to make sure that was accomplished."

The Nevada County EOC would like to thank all the public safety agencies, local non-profits and businesses, and the community for coming together to help keep our community safe and provide shelter and services for the evacuees. Nevada County Social Services, the Red Cross, First Baptist Church, and the Nevada County Fairgrounds partnered with the Nevada County EOC to open shelters for displaced evacuees and their animals. The Nevada County Sheriff's Office, Cal Fire NEU, Nevada County Consolidated, Grass Valley CHP, Grass Valley Fire, North San Juan Fire, Nevada City Fire, Camptonville Fire, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Penn Valley Fire, PG&E, Cal Trans, and Rough and Ready Fire have all collaborated during the Pleasant Fire to keep our community and residents safe.


One less spark, One less wildfire

County Advises Community to be Wildfire and Heat Safe this Labor Day Weekend

In response to the recent Pleasant Fire, Nevada County is advising the community to be aware of the continued wildfire risk throughout the holiday weekend.
Parts of Nevada County have been issued a High Heat Advisory throughout the Labor Day weekend, increasing the potential for fire starts due to hot and dry conditions, and the risk of heat-related illnesses for the entire population. Large wildfires throughout California make state wildfire resources thin, especially during California's wildfire season in August and September.  With excessive heat and increased outdoor activity throughout the Labor Day weekend, it is important to remember to be wildfire safe and to be aware of ways to prepare for the high heat.
Wildfire safety:

  • Don't drive your vehicle in dry grass or brush
  • Practice safe towing
  • Avoid power equipment (lawnmowers, weed-whackers, etc.) that creates sparks, especially after 10am
  • Properly discard cigarettes
  • Obey burn bans
  • Know your wildfire risk and prepare an emergency plan in advance
  • If campfires are allowed in the area, get a free open campfire permit from www.PreventWildfireCA.org.
  • Clear away grass, leaves, and other debris within 5 feet from campfires for BBQ's
Ways to Prepare for High Heat Temperatures:
  • Drink extra water
  • Wear light-colored clothes
  • Avoid outdoor strenuous activities from 10am to 6pm
  • Help elderly, kids, and pets stay cool
  • Plan to be in air-conditioned buildings
  • Be cautious and aware of falling tree limbs from heat stressed trees, especially when camping or driving

For more ways to prepare, find wildfire prevention tips on Smokey Bear's website, and heat safety tips on the National Weather Service website. For emergency weather information, visit Nevada County Office of Emergency Services's Facebook.


Nevada County Community Library Logo

Nevada County Community Library Prepares for Service Increases

On August 29, Nevada County posted the first of several job recruitments for positions to support the expansion of public hours, services, and programs at the Nevada County Community Library. Applications for two entry-level Library Assistant I positions, one full-time at the Grass Valley Library and one part-time at the Madelyn Helling Library, will close at 5:00 p.m. on September 12, 2017. All new positions are made possible by funds generated by Measure A, the Library sales tax measure passed by Nevada County voters in November 2016.

The Library will be adding a total of seven new permanent positions, some part-time and some full-time, and two temporary part-time positions, located throughout the six branches of the County library system. A variety of experience levels is being sought, but curiosity about technology and knowledge of how to use it are helpful in any library position.

New library positions will be posted each week throughout September and early October. Applications received now will be used to fill positions that open at the libraries for the next twelve months. Job opportunities will appear on the County's job posting site.

As the new positions are filled and new hires are trained, the Library will be enhancing services and programs. The Library plans to expand hours in two phases. The first phase, which will take place in early November, will result in the Madelyn Helling, Grass Valley, and Truckee Libraries all opening at 10:00 a.m. and closing at 6:00 p.m. or later during the week. The Penn Valley Library will change its hours to 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The Bear River Library will change its schedule slightly to Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (closed on Mondays). Hours at the Doris Foley Library for Historical Research will remain unchanged. At the beginning of 2018, the Grass Valley Library will restore Monday hours, which were eliminated during the economic downturn.

Library users will also enjoy new public computers, afterschool programs, technology classes and programs, online services, and other improvements in the coming months. The Library is grateful for the support of the Nevada County community and looks forward to providing more services to our friends and neighbors.

For up-to-date information on Library programming, visit the Nevada County Library's Facebook.


Suicide Awarness

Military and Veteran Suicide Awareness Day, Wednesday September 6th

On September 6th from 9:00 a.m. until noon, the Military and Veteran Awareness and Prevention Day event will be held on the East Side of the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The event raises awareness about suicide in the military and among veterans and will recognize the higher suicide rates at which active duty service members and veterans die by suicide. Veteran suicides across the nation are being reported at an astounding rate of 22 deaths per day.  We must speak up about suicide awareness and bring attention to the stigmatized topic of mental illness.  For more information can be received on the event by call (916) 557-1167.

Nevada County veterans looking for help can contact the Veterans Crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 then press 1, or connect with our local non-profit organization Welcome Home Vets.  Welcome Home Vets provides mental health counseling for our veterans suffering from PTSD. For more information please contact Welcome Home Vets at (530) 272-3300 or view their website.  You may also call Veteran Services Officer Kevin Edwards directly at (530) 265-1446 or via email at kevin.edwards@co.nevada.ca.us


School Lunch Program

Feeding Nevada County‚Äôs Children: School Lunch Program

Many public school students in California are eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Research shows that well-nourished students are better prepared to learn, grow, and achieve at their fullest potential. Local educational agencies spread the word each year about this program in an attempt to reach eligible families and inform them of the food availability. This school season the Nevada County Department of Social Services, along with several local nonprofit organizations, are reaching out to help feed hungry children and their families through the CalFresh program.

CalFresh is a food supplement program funded by the USDA to help improve the health and nutrition of families and individuals with low incomes. CalFresh can stretch food dollars, enabling families to buy more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and other healthy foods.  These benefits can also be used to purchase seeds and plants to grow food for personal use. Currently, a single parent of one child with a monthly gross income of $2,670 or less and
a family of four has a gross monthly income limit of $4,050 could be eligible for benefits.  The amount of benefits a household is eligible to receive depends on their income.  The average CalFresh household gets over $300 each month.  This helps to supplement their food budget to ensure that family members are nourished.

This school year Sierra Harvest is collaborating with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office to get the word out about CalFresh. Sierra Harvest is working with the western county schools to provide CalFresh outreach information into school welcome packets.  Packets give families information on the benefits and income guidelines of the program.  If a student is eligible for free or reduced price meals through the national school lunch program, they are likely eligible to the CalFresh program.  The flyers identify local organizations who are able to assist with the application like Sierra Harvest, Interfaith Food Ministry, The Friendship Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County, Alliance Workforce Development, 211 Nevada County, C4Yourself.com, and the County of Nevada Department of Social Services.  Once these applications are received, the Social Services Department will review the family's information to determine what type of benefits can be provided.


In Eastern County, the Family Resource Center of Truckee is working directly with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District to reach their free and reduced lunch families. The Family Resource Center of Truckee will contact these families to see if they are already receiving CalFresh benefits.  If the families are not, they will assist in completing the application if desired.  Once the application is completed it will then be forwarded to the Social Services Department for completion.

For more information about the CalFresh or other public assistance programs contact Sara Connor, Program Manager, at (530) 265-7195.

Friendship Club

The Friendship Club Selected to Receive Community Initiative Funding 

On August 15th, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved the Nevada County Adult and Family Services Commission recommendation to fund The Friendship Club's (TFC) request for $15,000 in Community Initiative Funding (CIF) to purchase a vehicle to transport at-risk girls to club activities. These funds will allow TFC an opportunity to provide services that will enhance the priorities set forth by the Community Services Block Grant Community Action Plan (CSBG CAP).  CIF dollars provide funding opportunities to local non-profits to support meaningful one-time projects that will have a beneficial impact for residents of Nevada County.

The Friendship Club provides at-risk girls, ages 10-18, within Western Nevada County with a comprehensive, year-round, long-term program that delivers social and emotional support and crucial life skills.  The Friendship Club also provides an alumni program for girls after they graduate high school to assist them with the transition to adulthood, navigate college, careers, and parenthood, and to achieve their life goals.  

The Friendship Club will now be able to purchase a van to provide transportation for low-income girls in order to participate in after school program meetings and activities.

For more information about the Friendship Club visit them on their website or contact Dena Valin at (530) 265-4311.


HIV Testing Team

Nevada County's HIV Testing and Counseling Clinic Receives Grant

The Nevada County Public Health Department recently received a grant from the NorCal AIDS Cycle to support our HIV Testing and Counseling Program. To date we have received five generous awards from NorCal AIDS Cycle, and this year's award of $7,000 brings the total contributions from NorCal AIDS Cycle to $44,700 over the course of five years. This money is what fully funds our HIV Testing and Counseling Clinic, a testing clinic that offers Rapid Testing, and provides confidential results in twenty minutes. The HIV Testing and Counseling Clinic occurs twice monthly on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month from noon until 3:00 pm at 500 Crown Point Circle, Grass Valley. In addition to finding out their HIV status, individuals who test negative receive counseling about strategies to reduce future risk. Those whose test results show a preliminary positive receive an immediate referral to Public Health's HIV Case Manager who will connect them with the resources they need to live with HIV and prevent further transmission of the virus.

The NorCal AIDS Cycle is a bicycle ride fundraiser in which cyclists ride hundreds of miles through Northern California to raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS service providers in the Sacramento Valley and beyond. For more information about NorCal AIDS Cycle, to register for the ride, to serve as a crew member for the ride, or general information visit NorCal AIDS Cycle's website. For more information about Public Health's HIV/AIDS services, visit our website or contact Liz Matson at (530) 265-1717.

Pictured in photo: The HIV Testing and Counseling Clinic Team. Cindy Key, RN; Jen Winders, ASW; Char Weiss-Wenzl, RN
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