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Staying firewise: Washington Hill residents create defensible space on work day

Tools, trucks and trailers — and the people using them — came out in force during National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day.

Residents of Washington Hill in Grass Valley got to work last month making their neighborhood safer from fire. Some homeowners created and improved the defensible space on their property. Others cleared ground fuels and debris on each side of Jill Road, a major evacuation route for this neighborhood, a news release states.

The Washington Hill Fire Coalition is a nationally and locally recognized Firewise Community. Homes within the community boundary are certified through the National Fire Prevention Association as a neighborhood working to improve fire resilience.



“We are in our third year of certification,” said Ginger Whitehead, a member of the steering committee, in the release. “Forming meaningful bonds with neighbors, setting goals for projects, and doing the physical work together has been invaluable for our group. We have dedicated, highly trained firefighters in Nevada County, and by hardening our homes and neighborhoods on our own, firefighters’ efforts can be more effective.”

The coalition was awarded a grant from AAA and the National Fire Protection Association, which paid for a large dumpster to remain in the Washington Hill neighborhood for a week.



“We filled it in five days,” said Whitehead. “Now all that fuel is out of our neighborhood, and we have earned credits toward keeping our certificate through 2023. And our neighborhood looks like the cared-for community it is.”

Insurance companies in California are being encouraged by the insurance commissioner to consider hardening of homes and neighborhoods when evaluating rates and determining which areas will be offered coverage.

Those interested in forming a fire coalition or Firewise community should contact the Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities, http://www.NCCoalitionFWC.com; and the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, http://www.areyoufiresafe.com.

Source: Christine Barnes

Residents of Washington Hill in Grass Valley got to work last month making their neighborhood safer from fire. Some homeowners created and improved the defensible space on their property.
Submitted to The Union
Those interested in forming a fire coalition or Firewise community should contact the Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities, http://www.NCCoalitionFWC.com; and the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, http://www.areyoufiresafe.com.
Submitted to The Union

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