Forum set to get Grass Valley ready for fire season
Know & Go
What: Fire Preparedness Forum and Community Meeting
When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29
Where: LOVE Building in Condon Park, 660 Minnie St., Grass Valley
In the wake of last year’s devastating Camp Fire, all of Nevada County seems determined to get fire safe to avoid the plight of Paradise.
But even with the best of intentions, what it takes to guard homes and loved ones from a wildfire can be confusing and daunting. To that end, Nevada County and its law enforcement and fire protection agencies have been conducting a series of public meetings on such topics as defensible space.
Grass Valley has been a part of those outreach efforts all along, said Fire Chief Mark Buttron. But now, the city’s police and fire department have teamed up to host a community forum specifically targeted at the city’s residents.
The forum, which will address the city’s vegetation management program, general emergency preparedness, and wildfire response and community preparedness, will be at 6 p.m. May 29 at the LOVE Building in Condon Park, 660 Minnie St.
“This is the city’s opportunity to meet with our community members to talk about wildland fire incidents that might occur,” Buttron said. “We’re going to cover emergency preparation in general, not just for fire — the planning process, what to expect, how decisions are made.”
In particular, Buttron said, he has often heard questions regarding who makes evacuation decisions.
“We’ll include general emergency planning, and we’ll be drilling down to more direct issues — (such as) wildfire preparedness,” he said. “What fire weather means, what does a red flag warning mean.”
Buttron noted that what affects the county affects city, and vice versa.
“The messaging is the same, this just gives us more of a forum for our city, to define some of those differences between ordinances,” he said.
For example, Buttron said, what is required for vegetation management and defensible space can be confusing.
“We live under the city’s municipal codes, which are different from county ordinances,” he said.
Police Chief Alex Gammelgard noted there is a greater population density in the city and he wants to push for greater involvement in planning from the city’s residents.
“I want to get some momentum behind this,” Gammelgard said. “Fire season is fast approaching. Getting prepared is the best way to ensure your safety.”
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at email@example.com.
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A handful of local fires have kept firefighters busy over the past 48 hours, including a fully involved structure fire off Brady Road, a vegetation fire at Cherry Creek Road and Highway 49, and a vehicle fire at Purdon Crossing that threatened the historic 1889 bridge.