Candidate wants fire-safe home labels
Nevada County Board of Supervisors candidate Josh Ramey on Thursday unveiled his campaign platform’s major plank – a plan to avert disasters he witnessed firsthand battling the Southern California flames several months ago, he said.
Ramey, a Peardale-Chicago Park fire captain who will face off against Olivia Diaz and Nate Beason in the March 2 election for the District 1 seat, vividly recalls the 20- to 30-foot flames that claimed thousands of homes and the life of a firefighter.
He said his fire plan would save lives and homes when firefighters have to make critical decisions about which residences can be protected from a wildfire.
“A sobering moment was when a firefighter died,” Ramey said.
According to Ramey’s plan, homes that meet brush-clearing standards would receive dated stickers on their address signs. In a wildfire disaster, the stickers would signify to firefighters that the residence can likely be saved, Ramey said.
The stickers would help firefighters avoid missing a defensible home because they couldn’t see it from the road, he said.
“The beauty of the plan is that it would be completely voluntary. A residence would only be inspected at the owner’s request. We are not proposing more government regulation, but rather a way to help government serve citizens better,” Ramey said.
Many homes also have vital water supplies that go unused in a fire for the same reason, he said. A second sticker would show if the property had a fire-rated water supply.
In Southern California, Ramey said he and his colleagues wondered what could have been done differently. This plan may be one solution, he said.
“I believe this fire preparation and identification plan will save homes and protect firefighters,” Ramey said.
The second stage would call for recognizing neighborhoods with a high percentage of inspected homes as “fire safe” communities. The idea is to encourage neighbors to help neighbors achieve a fire-safe status, he said.
Ramey said he has received positive responses and input from various fire committees and associations in the region. While the specifics are still being worked out, Ramey said the costs would likely be relatively low.
Ramey said he would like to see his initiative incorporated into the county’s overall fire plan.
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