If there was ever a time to be concerned about fire safety in our community, this has got to be the year.
Western Nevada County is experiencing a drought, with vegetation drier and denser than ever, and likely fire season starting earlier than usual. This is why the Cascade Shores Homeowner’s Association is pursuing the national Firewise Community/USA® certification, according to a news release.
Becoming a certified Firewise Community/USA® involves creating a community based committee and receiving a community wildfire hazard assessment – completed by a Registered Professional Forester, local and state fire officials and the Fire Safe Council.
After the hazard assessment is complete, a written report with recommendations on how to best mitigate the identified issues is provided to the committee. An action plan is developed in response to the recommendations for implementation, followed by an education day event to have all residents working toward established goals.
Once the community has demonstrated a $2 per person investment in fire prevention activities and projects, the application is complete and is reviewed and approved by the National Fire Protection Association for certification. Firewise Communities retain their certification annually by reviewing and updating their action plan, hosting an education day and filing a report of fire mitigation and educational activities.
Last November, the wildfire hazard assessment team toured Cascade Shores and will soon release the final hazard assessment report. In order to fulfil the requirements of the certification program, the education day event is being planned.
“We have planned the event to provide presentations on a variety of topics such as homeowner’s insurance, the proposed County vegetation management ordinance, a fuels reduction project on the Tahoe National Forest as well as the assessment report itself.” Joan Hardy, Cascades Shores resident and member of the Firewise Committee, said in the release. “We’re also keeping the education entertaining by providing the Nevada County Consolidated Fire District’s fire prevention trailer and live fire extinguisher training by Patterson Fire Equipment. We will also have a clown to make balloon animals – he’s volunteered to attend and discuss wildfire impacts on wildlife. There’s something for every member of the family.”
The event will be hosted 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 5 at the Cascade Shores Firehouse. The public is invited to attend to learn more about fire prevention and the Firewise Community certification program. Guest speakers include Jeff Dunning with Allstate Insurance, Nevada County Supervisor Nate Beason and Karen Hayden with the Tahoe National Forest.