Grass Valley, Calif. December 19, 2019 – On December 4 and 5, Fire Safe Council of Nevada County trained 40 new Defensible Space Advisors to help our community prepare for wildfire in 2020 and beyond. The two day program consisted of training in fire behavior, vegetation management, house hardening, defensible space clearing, firewise landscape planning and, of course, how to conduct a Defensible Space Advisory Visit (DSAV).  Presenters included Fire Safe Council Chair Don Thane, UC Master Gardener Cathe’ Fish, Matt Furtado of CAL FIRE, Defensible Space Advisor Pat Leach, Terry McMahan and Patrick Mason of Nevada County Consolidated Fire and Shayne McLaughlin, County of Nevada Lead Defensible Space Inspector.

These volunteers are overseen by Fire Safe Council of Nevada County and are now ready to conduct free, one on one, Defensible Space Advisory Visits (DSAV). “With our energized volunteer force and cool, wet weather, the new year is a great time to schedule a visit.” says Pete Williams of The Fire Safe Council’s Board of Directors.

What is a Defensible Space Advisory Visit (DSAV)?

A DSAV is a one-on-one consultation conducted at your property covering
how to make your house structure more fire resistant (otherwise known as home hardening) and how to meet the legal defensible space requirements around your home.  A visit usually takes about an hour and you will get specific recommendations about hardening your house and improving the 100 feet surrounding your house.

“Many people are confused or have difficulty understanding what needs to be done. Having someone talk through specifics has proven to be very effective for wildfire preparedness and helpful to the homeowner. We understand it can feel overwhelming and are happy to help.” says Fire Safe Council Executive Director, Jamie Jones. The recommendations provided are only for the homeowner and not reported to anyone outside of that interaction. “This isn’t an inspection. We aren’t looking to get people in trouble. We are trying to keep the entire community safe by providing good information on the best science and legal requirements for the area.” adds Jones.

These visits are becoming much more popular. In 2018 advisors conducted 300 DSAV. That number leapt to 1310 in 2019, no doubt due to increased awareness after the Camp Fire. It is highly recommended residents call to schedule an inspection before the dry months in order to secure an appointment.

“The loss of life and community was devastating and a real wake up call for many to become more prepared. If a fire comes, the best advice is to leave lickety-split. Saving yourself and your family is priority #1. But if you have to leave, wouldn’t it be nice to come back to find your home still standing?” adds Williams.

To schedule a visit, call The Fire Safe Council at 530-272-1122, or use the  ‘Contact Us’ form on the Fire Safe Council Website