Supervisors adopt Nevada County fire plan
August 18, 2004
Staff reportsFire-prone Nevada County now has its first fire plan. After 11 months of community meetings and workshops, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved the plan this week with just a few minor modifications and overwhelming support from more than 70 county residents.The plan is meant to serve as a prescription for how residents can make their homes and properties safe from a wildland fire disaster.There are 42 recommendations that made up a collaborative effort between residents and the five-member committee, which consisted of Tony Clarabut of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District Chief Tim Fike, U.S. Forest Service Division Chief Gary Fildes, Rich Reader of the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, and Jeff Dunning of the Nevada County Fire Safe Council.”The whole basis for the plan was an understanding that we live in a fire adapted ecosystem,” Clarabut said. “The basic premise is that fire was a part of a natural process and that fire managed the fuels in our forest. Since the early 1900s we’ve eliminated fire as a fuels-management process, and since we’ve eliminated a natural process for fuels management, we have to put in place processes that mimic those natural processes.”Included in the recommendations are prescriptions for defensible space requirements around structures and fuels management work to be done on parcels that are 10 acres or less.From this point, fire managers involved in putting together the Nevada County Fire Plan will work with county staff to develop an implementation strategy to turn the recommendations into ordinances.Clarabut said that acceptance of the plan was “a critical step” in mitigating the risk of wildfire in the county, and it shows that the public understands the need for county-wide fuels management practices.”When it gets down to beginning the process and reaching out to the public, historically we’ve found that if people understand the reason for doing it and are given assistance in achieving that goal, generally we get a really high percentage of compliance,” he said.The Sun News Service contributed to this story.For more information on the Nevada County Fire Plan and to download a copy of the plan go to http://new.mynevadacounty.com and click on the link on the navigation bar at the right (under the “What’s News” heading).