Donations for brush clearing needed |

Donations for brush clearing needed

Wanted: $150 donations to fund brush clearing, which will help keep senior citizens’ homes from burning down in a wildfire.

Also wanted: elderly people who need the help.

The Nevada County Fire Safe Council seeks donors to help fund its senior assistance program.

The program, launched last year, pays for brush clearing around the homes of low-income seniors physically unable to do the work themselves.

The Fire Safe Council hires three-person work crews who clear as much brush as they can in one day.

“They start right at the house and work out in concentric circles,” explained Michelle Phillips, the nonprofit group’s executive director.

Brush and tree limbs get cut down and then chipped up and left on site.

The Fire Safe Council has a goal of helping 150 people this summer.

To fund that, it needs to raise $15,000 in donations and combine that with a $50,000 grant from the Sacramento Regional Foundation, and with what’s left of a $25,000 donation received last year from the Allstate Foundation.

The council started its donation drive in February. So far, it’s attracted 23 sponsors, the largest of which is the Grass Valley Rotary, which donated $750, Phillips said.

The goal is to get 101 donations of $150, she said.

The Fire Safe Council also seeks seniors who need the program’s help.

Participants must be age 65 or older, physically unable to do the work, and within federal income guidelines.

A single person qualifies if he or she earns less than $1,445 per month and a couple qualify if they earn $2,645 or less.

The program cleared brush around 43 homes last year and most participants had monthly incomes of about $400 to $500 – well below the guidelines, Phillips said.

For information about the Senior Assistance Program or to donate, call the Nevada County Fire Safe Council at 470-9193.

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