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April 20, 2021 – The first call came in at 3:39 am from a Nevada County resident wanting to know “where is the fire?” He wasn’t the only one concerned about a persistent smell of smoke, all throughout western Nevada County and most of Placer County. A nightly inversion, where colder air and smoke particles sink lower, brought a reminder that fire season is coming.

The Deadwood underburn, a close to 700-acre project on the American River Ranger District of the Tahoe National Forest, is underway. Located northeast of Foresthill, the project is decreasing the fuel load and fire hazard in the American River canyon. Yesterday, firefighters took advantage of ideal conditions and burned almost 200 acres in various segments of the project. Dozer lines keep the fire within the project and firefighters are monitoring the burn 24/7.

A reminder to get ready

Being woken up by the smell of smoke is a familiar experience for most Foothill residents. From the “new normal,” to “unprecedented,” fire season is a part of life, so is preparing for wildfire.

Here’s a pretty typical to-do list:

If you need help assessing where to start, turn to the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County and check out their resources. From a free Defensible Space Advisory Visit, to their low-cost chipping program, reflective address signs and even helping your neighborhood to become a Firewise community – they are a great resource.

The Office of Emergency Services (OES) offers resources for residents via the Ready Nevada County program. Signing up to be notified in the event of an emergency, finding a list of all fire departments, requesting a defensible space inspection are just a few of the services you can find on the dedicated website.

Be safe, be prepared.