Ponderosa West Grass Valley Defense Zone Project, the highest priority hazardous fuel reduction project in the Nevada County Community Wildfire Protection Plan is moving forward with Board approval of 3 resolutions. Resolutions proclaiming a Local Emergency, accepting a grant from CAL FIRE's Fire Prevention Program in the amount of $2,536,477, and securing a contract with CAL FIRE for $1,000,000, mark important steps in launching this ambitious project.
The Ponderosa West Grass Valley Defense Zone Project was identified by CAL FIRE and Governor Newsom as a top priority to protect one of California's most wildfire-vulnerable communities. The grant was submitted by the County of Nevada with the help of Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, who is named in the grant as a key project partner. Funding supports the creation of a shaded fuel break, or defense zone in a high risk region adjacent to the City of Grass Valley and focuses on the treatment of both private and Nevada County-maintained land.
“Approval of these resolutions is an important next step in executing a critical project in our Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The collaboration of the County, State, CAL FIRE and the Fire Safe Council was crucial in bringing these resources to Nevada County,” says County Chief Information Officer, Steve Monaghan.
The defense zone will provide an effective location for fire suppression activities. The footprint of the project includes 1,237 acres and offers protection to the communities of Lake Wildwood, Penn Valley, and Rough and Ready to the west, as well as the City of Grass Valley.
A California Registered Professional Forester will develop a fuels reduction treatment with each property owner. Work prescribed will be done in accordance with the California Forest Practice Rules and will promote overall forest health and fire resiliency.
“The Ponderosa West Defense Zone project has been identified by authorities as a priority due to the immediate risk to Nevada County communities from wildfire. Not only will the project mitigate this risk but in the process the project will protect the natural resources and enhance habitats critical for endangered species. The decision by the BOS to accept $3.5 million in funds for the critical project is a great step forward for community and natural resource protection.” says CAL FIRE Forester II Steve Garcia
“This is an incredible gift for property owners.” adds Board Chair, Supervisor Richard Anderson. “In the process of creating a critical fire break in western Nevada County, property owners in the project area will have hazardous vegetation removed at the State’s expense rather than their own.”
Property owners within the proposed area will receive additional materials via mail before August 1st. There is no cost to those who choose to participate. The goal is to complete 300 acres by December 31, 2019 and the remainder of the project by February 2022. Questions or concerns should be directed to Fire Safe Council of Nevada County at Info@PonderosaWestProject.org or (530) 272-1122.
The project website www.PonderosaWestProject.org will be launching soon to provide project information and updates.
SR 19-0652: Resolution proclaiming a Local Emergency in Nevada County due to the identification of extremely dangerous fire risk conditions in an area of Nevada County designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as the Ponderosa West Project Area. (Emergency Services) (Dists. III and IV)
SR 19-0646: Resolution approving a contract between the County of Nevada and CAL FIRE for the Ponderosa West Grass Valley Defense Zone Project, in the amount of $1,000,000, for the period July 9, 2019 through December 31, 2020, authorizing the Director of Emergency Services to execute the contract, and directing the Auditor-Controller to amend the Fiscal Year 2019/20 Office of Emergency Services budget. (4/5 affirmative vote required) (Dists. III and IV)
SR 19-0651: Resolution accepting a grant from CAL FIRE in the amount of $2,536,477 for the Ponderosa West Grass Valley Defense Zone Project, for the period July 9, 2019 through March 15, 2022, and authorizing the Director of Emergency Services to execute Grant Agreement No. 5GG18114. (Emergency Services) (Dists. III and IV)