Our View: Ample examples of what makes our community so special | TheUnion.com

Our View: Ample examples of what makes our community so special

Lowell Fire more than 2,300 acres, 95% contained, 8/10


six firefighters injured

two structures destroyed

Whether spotted on roadside signs, acknowledged by a pay-it-forward cup of Joe at a coffee shop or even an actual handshake and “thank you” shared at the supermarket, western Nevada County showed its support loud and clear in recent weeks for the firefighters who battled the Lowell Fire that threatened our community.

In fact, last weekend, it was the firefighters who made a point of saying thanks for the support they were shown here while doing their jobs so incredibly well.

“Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-Placer Fire Chief George Morris III and Cal Fire Incident Management Team 1 Commander Bret Gouvea, along with all the firefighters assigned to the Lowell Fire would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation for the overwhelming support and cooperation throughout this emergency situation,” read a letter to the editor. “According to Randy Hinkle, a local Cal Fire firefighter, ‘the community showed incredible support for us and we want to recognize their efforts which have not gone unnoticed.’

“You helped us help you!!”

We echo that sentiment, and also share our thanks to those who stepped up to assist others in our community during such a crisis situation, including those who volunteered with the evacuation efforts, those who assisted with displaced animals and those who took the time to simply say “thank you” to those people who actually put their lives on the line for us. The result of those efforts is that, as of Friday, the Lowell Fire is 95 percent contained at just more than 2,300 acres, with two structures destroyed and another damaged — meanwhile while six firefighters sustained injuries during the fight.

Cal Fire predicts full containment by Monday, allowing us all to breathe a collective sigh of relief with a great deal of gratitude.

“The Nevada County community is a very tight community, and has had its share of wildfires,” Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant said. “Residents always come together to show their support and we appreciate that. We’re very thankful for the support.”

For all the problems that plague us and the important issues we face, one thing we do very well here is “community.”

We have a long history of generosity, dating all the way back to 1883 and Grass Valley’s first Donation Day organized by the Ladies Relief Society to help the “needy.” And that tradition continues today, whether through the services provided by our nonprofit organizations that are powered by volunteer efforts or in the way our community answers the call when someone needs help in tough times.

Even in the past month we’ve seen other examples of our community responding to such a call. When Mary Grace Tassone, a beloved member of our community for her own volunteer efforts, was the victim of attack outside her church on a Sunday morning, Grass Valley’s police officers were quickly able to pull together a description of the suspect. And, thanks to a call by a vigilant member of our community, officers were able to take the suspect into custody two days later. Meanwhile, as family members kept the community updated on her health, hundreds showed their support for Tassone in impressive fashion by packing the church for a “healing Mass.”

Also, thanks to several concerned members of the community, a 10-year-old Nevada City girl who had been reported missing was found two days later, after she had reportedly hitchhiked to Roseville and back.

“Information and pictures were rapidly distributed through various means to inform the community,” said Nevada City Police Chief Tim Foley.

And members of that informed community cared enough to contact authorities when they saw someone fitting the girl’s description, helping to ensure her safe return.

Just in the past week, we’ve seen another example where the community answered a call to action in supporting an effort to retire debt still owed from the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. After Nevada City’s council denied funding to assist Councilmember Duane Strawser in covering approximately $15,000 incurred through Nevada City serving as a host for a stage in the race, community members donated thousands of dollars to alleviate that burden. The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce reported this week that nearly $14,000 had been raised, much of that before a crowd-sourcing website had even been launched.

Many of us, of course, moved to this community because of the natural beauty surrounding us that we are blessed to see each time we walk out the door.

But the truth remains that western Nevada County is a beautiful place to live, largely thanks to those who live here.

And for that, we thank you.

The weekly Our View column represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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