Planning, preparedness and prevention: Yubanet hosts fire safety town hall | TheUnion.com

Planning, preparedness and prevention: Yubanet hosts fire safety town hall

Western Nevada County residents turned up to the Nevada Theatre Monday night for Yubanet's town hall meeting on the topic "Ready For Wildfire."

Yubanet's Pascale Fusshoeller mediated the panel discussion that included members of local fire and law enforcement organizations.

Officials reminded those in the audience that in regards to fire, preparedness is the name of the game. Residents are encouraged to have not one but several potential escape routes and to have a "go-bag" ready at all times.

Go bags should contain everything necessary to survive away from home for a few days, including medications and important documents like drivers licenses.

Nevada County has implemented the CodeRED emergency alert system, and county residents are asked to sign up to receive important alerts in times of fire or other emergency. Sign up information can be found at mynevadacounty.com.

Following orders from fire and law enforcement officials is of the utmost importance during an emergency, the panelists agreed, and those who refuse to obey evacuation orders are essentially on their own.

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"Really the message that we're trying to get across is that most of your time and money would be best spent preparing beforehand," said CalFire's Jim Mathias, "and to make sure you're as prepared as possible."

The audience was reminded that in times of potential power outages, modern day conveniences may not be operable. Officials suggested keeping a battery-operated radio and analog telephone on hand for emergencies.

CalFire encourages residents to create a defensible space of at least 30 feet around their homes as the agency will conduct inspections throughout fire season. The agency banned all residential burning effective June 11 due to increased fire danger.

Many noted that fire season, which once began and ended with summer, is now year-round.

"Every year is worse and worse," said Josh Sunde, Battalion Chief with Nevada County Consolidated Fire. "We have to be ready year-round. We have to train like every day is fire season because it is."

The "Ready For Fire" town hall meeting podcast can be found at kvmr.org.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.