Nevada County Defense Zone Project fast-tracked by Gov. Newsom |

Nevada County Defense Zone Project fast-tracked by Gov. Newsom

In a report to Gov. Gavin Newsom in response to his executive order intended to prioritize wildfire risk mitigation, Cal Fire identified high-priority fuels reduction projects that include the Ponderosa West Grass Valley Defense Zone Project in Nevada County.

According to a news release, the 1,802-acre project protects approximately 3,000 residences in Lake Wildwood, Penn Valley, Rough and Ready and Grass Valley, as well as critical infrastructure such as Highway 20, PG&E power and water infrastructure, and Nevada County facilities.

Within 1 mile of the project, there are seven churches, 12 bridges, six schools, three fire stations, two government buildings, and four emergency shelter sites including the fairgrounds. Total values at risk exceed $600 million. The area has not burned for more than 100 years and fuels have reached unmanaged and risky proportions.

The project lies between Rough and Ready Highway and McCourtney Road. The primary fuel type is brush and timber; secondary fuels are oak woodland with minimal grass and moderate brush component. More than 100 years of fuel buildup predominates the landscape.

The Cal Fire report identifies more than 30 local projects that can be addressed in partnership with communities. Examples include removal of hazardous dead trees, vegetation clearing, creation of fuel breaks and community defensible spaces, and creation of ingress and egress corridors.

The report also recommends actions to accelerate measures such as home-hardening by educating the public and promoting use of Cal Fire’s Ready for Wildfire App, which recommends steps residents can take to create defensible space and make their homes more resilient to wind-driven embers and other fire risk.

Source: Cal Fire

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