Nevada City, CA – The Nevada County Board of Supervisors formally accepted funds awarded by CAL FIRE at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting.  CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit (NEU) announced last month that it had secured funding for a grant to mitigate the impacts of the damaging heavy storm event that began on December 27th, 2021. The $950,000 from the California Climate Investments CAL FIRE Wildfire Prevention Grant Program will help with costs to the county attributed to the extensive storm clean up. 

North Division Chief, CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Jim Mathias and “Grant Master” Steve Garcia. Photo courtesy NEU

The primary goal of the grant is to provide financial support focusing on wildfire mitigation efforts along primary ingress and egress routes on County maintained roads. This also is contributing to green waste mitigation efforts on privately maintained properties and ingress/egress routes along private roads.

“Our focus is to evacuate residents safely. We are doing all we can to take proactive measures to make that more effective,” said North Division Chief, CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit Jim Mathias, who was on hand to answer questions during the presentation. 

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Due to the heavy snowfall, significant quantities of downed trees and broken treetops have been added to already heavy fuel loads that will become dry and available to burn this summer unless removed. These funds are part of an ongoing effort to make Nevada County more resilient to all natural disasters, including wildfire, and to plan for future needs.

“The winter storms added another level of urgency, but safe evacuation routes are and will continue to be a focus for us. We’re grateful to have the partnership from CAL FIRE on projects like this,” says Board Chair Sue Hoek.

“This is a great example of the collaboration needed to clear fuels from key evacuation routes across the county before peak fire season. Everyone has a role to play, and working together yields the best results. Nevada County continues to be a strong partner in wildfire prevention,” says CAL FIRE Unit Chief Brian Estes.  

“None of us can do it alone, and the work never stops. We want to keep going and tackle it from all angles.  From working on large public projects to supporting neighborhoods, Firewise Communities, and private residents, there is so much to do. With partners like CAL FIRE, we can,” adds Nevada County Building Director Craig Griesbach. 

This direct funding to Nevada County Public Works will further augment an existing grant program for the roadside treatment of hazardous vegetation along main evacuation routes and support shovel-ready projects.

Projects already awarded include:

1. Remove public r/w storm debris from Rise Mine site  – $98,059.50
2. Remove remaining storm debris from County roadways – $300,000 
3. Assist County with Green Waste Drop Off Days – $21,611  

Projects Allocated but not yet awarded include:

1. Remove hazardous trees from County right of way –  Allocated $395,780
2. Forester- TBD – Allocated $91,500

“The work to create a more resilient Nevada County continues, but we are facing a situation where our needs threaten to outpace our resources. We look forward to continuing to look for new opportunities and are grateful to CAL FIRE for being a strong partner in this effort,” said Nevada County CEO Alison Lehman.