Fire Safe Council announces award recipients |

Fire Safe Council announces award recipients

The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is giving three awards during its sixth annual Wine & Culinary Adventure event June 28 to recognize those dedicated to protecting our community from catastrophic wildfire. The Fire Safe Council is a nonprofit, local volunteer organization dedicated to making Nevada County safer from catastrophic wildfire through fire prevention education, fire break clearing projects and creating firewise communities.

The Allstate Insurance Foundation is being honored as the Fire Safe Partner of the Year. The Fire Safe Partner of the Year must exemplify the mission of the council, provide in-kind or direct program funding support and technical expertise to expand the effectiveness and efficiency of the council’s efforts. The Allstate Insurance Foundation has given hundreds of thousands of dollars for fire safe efforts over the 15-year history of the council.

“Allstate Insurance has proven to be a strong ally in providing funding for public education, developing firewise communities and helping those in need through the Special Needs Assistance Program, which provides defensible space clearing at no cost to low-income seniors and disabled. Our mission would not be possible without the long-term support of our Allstate Insurance partners,” said Fire Safe Council Treasurer Rick Nolle.

The Greater Alta Sierra Firewise Community is being recognized as the Firewise Community of the Year. The community was certified in 2012 and has worked hard to secure environmental compliance from the Bureau of Land Management to begin work on a large parcel with overgrown vegetation that backs up to a ridge of homes. It has also partnered with the Bear Yuba Land Trust to help reduce hazardous fuel loading on the Adam Ryan Preserve, as well as pulling Scotch broom on the site. It demonstrates how an effective, independent Firewise committee can assist in educating their community on fire safe programs, defensible space and emergency preparedness.

“The Greater Alta Sierra Firewise Community has done an exceptional job in making our community more fire-safe. From having volunteer advisors trained to help educate neighbors, to numerous projects on the ground — they have raised the bar for other communities looking to become firewise. The individuals in their community have made all the difference,” said Bill Drown, Fire Safe Council award committee chairman.

Former Nevada County Consolidated Division Chief David Ray is being recognized along with computer database programmer Jim Whitaker as Volunteers of the Year. The Volunteers of the Year recipients must exemplify the mission of the council with extensive personal commitment and dedication to programs/projects, community fire protection outreach and/or operational support, as well as engage in other activities that support the council in developing partnerships, funding opportunities and/or communicating the fire awareness message.

“David Ray tirelessly promotes Fire Safe Council services with the community and helped to train other volunteers in wildfire mitigation techniques for the Defensible Space Advisory visit program. Jim Whitaker has devoted years to the council, serving on the board of directors and programming the chipping database for tracking, scheduling and closing work orders. After much discussion at the committee level, both men were recommended to receive recognition based on their long-term dedication and countless hours of time given to the organization,” said Fire Safe Council Executive Director Joanne Drummond.

For information about the Fire Safe Council or the Wine & Culinary Adventure, visit or call 530-272-1122.

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