Nevada County— 3/8/2023 — Jim Mathias retired from CAL FIRE as Northern Division Chief of Operations in Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, and Sierra Counties in December. Beginning March 6, he brings his energy and insight to the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County.
The locally-run nonprofit is an organization dedicated to making Nevada County safer from destructive wildfires through fire safety projects and education. As Wildfire Prevention and Safety Manager, Mathias brings years of experience and expertise to the critical work.
From his first fire agency assignment on the 49er Fire in 1988, to the management of the Washington Ridge Camp and California National Guard Hand Crews, and being awarded California’s Medal of Valor – Mathias has shown his commitment to serving the community and innovating on wildfire programs.
“We are grateful to have him join us. He is one of the region’s most trusted voices on wildfire preparedness. We know this is a huge asset for our organization and our entire community.” says Executive Director Jamie Jones.
In his new role asWildfire Prevention and Safety Manager, Mathias will work closely with staff, residents, stakeholders, and contractorsto make the most of current wildfire prevention programs and explore new opportunities for Nevada County. “Connecting with residents and empowering them is work I really enjoy. I’m inspired by the organization’s mission and values and the way we bring people together.”
He will provide additional expert leadership to wildfire prevention programs such as defensible space inspection, home hardening, green waste programs, and fuel reduction projects.
He will also lead the design, implementation, and supervision of mitigation projects in collaboration with Fire Safe Council management, community members, and key stakeholders.
Mathias has lived in Nevada County for over 54 years and offers this advice in response to recent storm damage, “While the recent storms have created some adversity, it also provides an opportunity to reduce fuels around your home and property. Wildfire season will be here soon, and we can take advantage of cooler weather to create additional defensible space. While getting rid of the downed limbs and trees, we can extend that work just a bit further to create more defensible space before the heat of the summer. The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County hopes to be a good partner with you to make your home and property more fire safe.”