February 9, 2018 – In the aftermath of the Lobo and McCourtney fires this past October, Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) is working to improve the fire prevention services provided to the public, increase public awareness on wildfire prevention, and create a safer, more resilient environment to wildfire in Nevada County.

It is a 2017 Priority A Board Objective to prioritize County policies and programs that reduce the risk of wildfire. County staff is recommending to significantly increase funding for the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County and Nevada County OES by nearly 400% for fiscal year 2018/2019. This increase will be considered by the Board of Supervisors during the 2018/2019 budget process this year.

Nevada County OES is also aggressively applying for additional grant funding to go towards fire prevention and mitigation in Nevada County. Recently, OES submitted a Notice of Intent to apply for a Mitigation Grant which would provide funding to implement roadside vegetation clearing for 150 miles of County roads, provide additional green waste sites throughout the County, and provide more low income chipping and defensible space programs for Nevada County residents if it is awarded.

To implement effective mitigation efforts within neighborhoods, staff is working with local Fire Chiefs to update Nevada County’s current Hazardous Vegetation Abatement Ordinance. The update will include vegetation management best practices, including mitigating the impacts hazardous vegetation can have on neighboring properties and homes.

Communicating effectively is especially important during times of emergencies. OES has worked with Cal Fire to update and match Nevada County’s evacuation language with local fire personnel, which will result in more efficient evacuations. Staff is also coordinating with fire personnel to help local communities update their evacuation plans and be better prepared for an emergency evacuation situation.

Nevada County OES will also be attending community events to educate and register residents for CodeRED, Nevada County’s emergency alert system. The CodeRED system will also undergo system testing and will be upgrading to have Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) capability in the future.

If you’d like Nevada County OES to come to your next community event and help residents sign-up for CodeRED, contact John Gulserian at oes@co.nevada.ca.us or call (530) 265-1515. If you haven’t already registered for CodeRED emergency alerts, sign-up online today.

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