County declares local emergency for town of Washington |

County declares local emergency for town of Washington

Responding to the threat of a firefighter walkout in Washington, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency today.

Tom Coburn, the county’s emergency services director, called the official declaration a “precautionary” measure that makes it easier to keep the town safe.

The county’s action follows several tumultuous weeks in Washington sparked by a highly critical California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection evaluation of the town’s all-volunteer fire department.

Without the official notice, a firefighter walkout would leave the isolated town far from accident and fire services, Coburn said. Neighboring departments would be glad to respond, but their crews would be based miles from Washington.

With an emergency declaration, the state ” through the CDF or Office of Emergency Services ” could speedily supply an engine and crew to the town, Coburn said.

Coburn said the county did not ask for money and is hoping the Washington Fire Protection District can resolve its difficulties internally.

All four supervisors approved the declaration with little discussion.

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