GRASS VALLEY, Calif May 15, 2017 – The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County will honor those who have dedicated their time and energy to help make our community safer from wildfire.  The awards will be presented during the 10th Annual Culinary Adventure event on Friday, May 19, 2017 at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City.  The Fire Safe Council is a non-profit, local volunteer based organization dedicated to making Nevada County safer from catastrophic wildfire through fire prevention education, fire break clearing projects and creating nationally recognized Firewise Communities USA®.

The Nevada County Roads Department has been selected as Public Partner of the Year.  They have been a faithful and effective partner to the Fire Safe Council as well as the numerous Firewise Communities.  With a focus on ingress and egress for emergency response, and citizen evacuation many of our projects and accomplishments would be much more costly and difficult were it not for the ongoing support from the Nevada County Roads Department.  They have continued to commit substantial resources to enable hazard tree removals along critical evacuation routes, emergency tree removals during winter storms as well as providing traffic control during fuel reduction projects.  Their personnel are always responsive, friendly, and willing to go the extra mile to support the mission of making Nevada County safer from wildfire.

Randy and Karabeth Hodges of Humpty Dumpty Kitchen in Grass Valley were chosen as Private Partner of the Year.  Humpty Dumpty Kitchen has hosted an annual Spaghetti Feed fundraiser, raising thousands of dollars for wildfire prevention programs in the community.  Their personal dedication to support the Fire Safe Council is above and beyond the support we typically receive from local businesses.  The funds raised at this event are critical to match state and federal grants.  The Hodges are exceptional in their support of the Fire Safe Council’s stated mission.

Sharon Beckenbach from North San Juan was selected as the Volunteer of the Year.  She has been a regular volunteer in the office for several years providing extraordinary service on a variety of programs and grant administration.  She has spent countless hours electronically filing historic grant documents, managing the Defensible Space Advisory visits requests, tracking our critical in-kind donations, and filling in whenever help is needed.  Her excellent skills, hard work, and warm personality are an asset to our business and community.

The Tahoe-Donner Association, and their Registered Professional Forester, Bill Houdyschell has been named Firewise Community® of the Year.  They received and have retained this recognition since 2010.  Their Forestry Department has implemented defensible space inspections and forest health education on all properties since the Angora Fire in 2007.  They continue to provide educational outreach and physical vegetation management services to enable homeowners to achieve and maintain a Firewise condition around their homes.  This is no easy task with a high number of second homeowners and many who simply don’t understand active forest management.  They have also secured and implemented numerous grants for management of their forested common areas for community protection and forest health.  These efforts have embedded wildfire prevention as a way of life for those at Tahoe-Donner.  The healthy forests they have created stand as an example of the legacy these efforts will leave for generations to come.

The public is invited to join the Fire Safe Council in honoring these individuals.  The Culinary Adventure travels to Japan, Italy, France, and Spain through culinary dishes from these countries.  Local fine wines from Nevada City Winery and Sierra Star Winery as well as craft brews from Ol’ Republic Brewery and Three Forks Brewery Company round out the adventure.  All proceeds from the silent auction and raffle benefit local fire prevention programs.  For more information about the Fire Safe Council or the Culinary Adventure, visit the FSCNC web site at or call (530) 272-1122.