About Us

The Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities, formed September 2017, is an all-volunteer organization (no staff, no dues and no budget) which works with, but is not related to, the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County. We are representatives and residents of about 100 Firewise Communities (FWCs) in Nevada County -- that number includes more than 60 NFPA-certified FWCs and the rest "in the pipeline" for certification. Individual FWCs, as part of a well-respected national movement, are certified through, and supported by, the Fire Safe Council.

The Coalition was created to bring FWC representatives together every month to share ideas and information with each other and to amplify the county-wide effort to educate residents on wildfire preparedness. We work hard in our neighborhoods to promote safe practices in a dangerous wildfire environment. The Coalition may also sometimes act as a "voice of the people" in advocating for better fire-safe practices and policies.

In early 2020 the Coalition moved to online Zoom meetings that we later opened to the public. Our meetings are recorded and available in our Archive. Our email list has grown to more than 500 people concerned about wildfire.

In addition to holding educational meetings and maintaining this website of resources, the Coalition also creates easy-to-understand documentation to address frequently asked questions. These documents, which can be found with other materials on our Education Resources page, include Roadside Clearing Regulations for both County and City residents; What Do You Do When Your 100 feet of Defensible Space Goes Onto a Neighbor's Property?; and How to Stay Informed During Wildfire Season.

  • FORM OF ORGANIZATION: The Coalition is an unincorporated nonprofit association as defined by California Corporations Code Section 18020(a).
  • MISSION: The Coalition promotes fire safety through advocacy, education, and community involvement with other stakeholders interested in working toward stronger fire safety practices.
  • GOAL: To support the formation and functioning of neighborhood-based Firewise Communities through information-sharing and collaborative problem-solving, in coordination with key public and private Nevada County organizations, in the recognition that fire is everyone's fight. 
    • All Nevada County residential communities certified as a “Firewise Community” under the NFPA’s Firewise USA Program, plus those considered “in training” by the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, are Members of the Coalition. Individual county residents may also join. "Joining" simply means getting on our mailing list. There are no dues.
    • Each member Firewise Community (both NFPA-certified and in training) may designate one representative to vote on occasional pieces of Coalition business (e.g., advocacy positions, by-law changes). If that representative cannot attend a meeting, another member of that community may fill in for him or her.
    • A member may terminate membership at any time by notifying the Coalition Chair in writing or by email.

Our regular meeting time is the first Tuesday of every month at 5:30 pm (unless re-scheduled due to holiday/weather).

We met at Esterly Hall (Nevada County Association of Realtors), 336 Crown Point Circle, in Grass Valley until early 2020. Our meetings are now held on Zoom until we can meet in person again. Join our mailing list to get the Zoom link information.

Our meetings are now recorded. Videos of our past meetings are here on our YouTube Channel.

Chair - Scott Beesley
Vice Chair -
Secretary - Virginia Gompertz
Technical Support/Communications - Jeff Peach

Steering Committee members
Kristen Cook
Bob Long
Nick Johnson
Susan Rogers

By Laws
Coalition-Bylaws - Final Approved Mar2021.pdf
Coalition Creation - Press Release December 2017
Chair and Vice Chair Job Description - Coalition-Position-Descriptions.pdf

Join the Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities Email List - Stay Informed!
How to Stay Informed During Wildfire Season 18Jul2021.pdf

Meeting Agenda

Coalition of Firewise Communities 

Special Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, November 9, 2021  5:30 pm - 7 pm on Zoom

This meeting is specifically for leaders/committee members of Firewise Communities, including all "in training" and "in process" communities
This meeting will be recorded and available later in our Zoom Archive.

Click this blue link to register and receive the Zoom meeting link: 


The November 9th special meeting will include:

-- Q&A with Pat Leach, Fire Safe Council liaison to Firewise Communities
-- Discussion of issues, problems and challenges in maintaining a FWC, with suggestions and advice from other leaders

Who's Who of Frequent Coalition Speakers and Presenters

  • Terry McMahan, Nevada County Consolidated Fire
  • Patrick Mason, Deputy Fire Marshal, NC Consolidated Fire
  • Jim Mathias, Division Chief North Operations, Cal Fire
  • Matt Wallen, Battalion Chief, Cal Fire
  • Jamie Jones, Executive Director, Fire Safe Council of Nevada County
  • Donn Thane, Chairman of Board, Fire Safe Council of Nevada County
  • Caleb Dardick, Projects Administrator, NC Executive Office
  • Paul Cummings, Program Manager, NC OES
  • Jenn Tamo, Sr. Admin Analyst, NC OES
  • Lt. Bob Jakobs, Emergency Operations Coordinator, NCSO, OES
  • Sgt. Ray Kress, Law Enforcement Mutual Aid & SAR Coordinator, NCSO
  • Kristen Cook, Steering Committee, NCCFWC
  • Jeff Peach, Steering Committee, IT guru, NCCFWC
  • Bob Long, Steering Committee, Evacuation Working Group, NCCFWC
  • Christopher Reilly, Evacuation Working Group, NCCFWC
  • Susan Rogers, Steering Committee, Real Estate Working Group, NCCFWC
  • Scott Beesley, Chair, NCCFWC
  • Virginia Gompertz – Steering Committee, Coalition Secretary & Insurance Working Group, NCCFWC
  • Pat Leach, Fire Safe Councill Firewise Coordinator

Acronym Key - What does THAT mean?

  • BLM - Bureau of Land Management
  • CO 2477 (Formerly CO 2463) - County Hazardous Vegetation Ordinance (right to extend 100 feet beyond property line & rural road rules 10-10-15)
  • Cal Fire - California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
  • DSAV - Defensible Space Advisory Visit (free, from a trained Fire Safe Council volunteer)
  • DSI - Defensible Space Inspector - County employee empowered to enforce codes
  • EQIP - Environmental Quality Incentives Program
  • FWC - Firewise Community
  • FSC - Fire Safe Council
  • IC - Incident Commander
  • ICP - Incident Command Post
  • LTO - Licensed Timber Operator
  • NCCFWC - Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities
  • NCSO - Nevada County Sheriff's Office
  • OES - Office of Emergency Services, County of Nevada
  • PRC 4291 - Public Resource Code concerning 100ft of Defensible Space around homes
  • RPF - Registered Professional Forester
  • SAR - Search and Rescue
  • THP - Timber Harvest Plan

Firewise Communities

Click here for a Countywide Map of Firewise Communities (also shows In-Training Communities) as of November 2021

Are you in a Firewise USA® community? 

The Nevada County website hosts an interactive map showing the current NFPA-recognized Firewise USA® communities (FWC), plus those "In-Training" which are being developed and sponsored through the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County. You can use this interactive GIS map on that website to find out if you're already in a FWC. Read the directions for use below - there are no instructions on the map page.

Directions: Type your home address (or any other address) into the white box on the map and click 'enter'. This will locate and place a dot on the map showing the address location. Each FWC has a different background color - the colors are subtle and can be checked against the Legend to the left. By scrolling out SLOWLY, it will show the names of the FWC and its neighbors. If you scroll out further to the county level, only the colors are shown. Scroll IN from the address-dot level and the street name can be seen. "In Training" neighborhoods that are developing their FWC status and have an accepted map are identified with a uniform yellow background.

This section of our website has information and resources for helping the leaders of individual Firewise Communities (FWCs) administer their local FWC.

An alphabetical list of CERTIFIED FIREWISE COMMUNITIES and individual FWCommunity maps can be found on the Fire Safe Council website here: https://www.areyoufiresafe.com/programs/firewise-usa. If you have trouble locating the individual map for your Firewise Community, contact the Fire Safe Council to send a message to Pat Leach, the Firewise Communities Coordinator.

How to become a Firewise Community brochureonscreen versionThis version of our tri-fold brochure is easiest to read on-screen, but printing it requires legal-size paper (8 1/2 x 14). PDF

How to become a Firewise Community brochureprint-at-home version8 1/2 x11, 6 pages PDF

What is an "In Training" Firewise Community? These are neighborhoods that are developing the steps necessary to become a Firewise Community. Many are waiting for their Hazard Assessment to be performed and documented by a qualified fire expert, with funding obtained by the Fire Safe Council (there is no cost to the neighborhood itself). The Community then creates its own 1-to-2 page Action Plan based on the Assessment, and the Fire Safe Council registers the new Firewise Community with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Prior to certification, all "in training" communities are encouraged to act like a certified Firewise Community, have one or more representatives attend monthly Coalition meetings, etc.

My Fire Department

Which Fire Agency Provides Protection Services for Your Neighborhood? - Check the map here 

Nevada County fire agencies have Joint Services agreements with each other and work closely together to respond to all fire emergencies. However, just ONE of them is officially responsible for your neighborhood. Click the map link above to see which one is yours. You need to know which agency this is, because they are the fire officials who you, as a Firewise Community representative, will be working with on activities to ensure fire safety in your community (for example, with the 30-Day Courtesy Notice to owners of non-compliant properties).

Water Tanks for Fire Suppression: Nevada County Consolidated Fire District has standards for Fire Protection Water Supply Systems. If you want to install a tank for potential use by firefighters (not for personal, home or agricultural water), it must meet the standards.

Nevada County Fire Districts

Grass Valley Fire Department

Higgins Fire Protection District

Nevada City Fire Department

Nevada County Consolidated Fire District

North San Juan Fire District

Ophir Hill Fire Protection District

Peardale-Chicago Park Fire Department

Penn Valley Fire Protection District

Rough & Ready Fire Department

Truckee Fire Protection District

Education Resources

[All documents on this site are safe to download. If your virus blocker prevents access, use our Ask A Question contact form to specify what you'd like to get, and we'll email them to you directly.]

Best of the Best education resources:

(scroll down for even more)

Your Home Can Survive a Wildfire Watch giant nozzles blow burning embers at mock "houses" in a monster testing facility. In this 13-minute video with great visuals, Dr. Jack Cohen, Fire Science Researcher with the USDA Forest Service, explains current research about how homes ignite during wildfires. You will be inspired and feel more confident that the action steps you take after watching this can help your home survive the impacts of flames and embers.

Wildfire Defensible Space: Zone Zero - 7-minute video about the most important defensible space zone, 0-to 5 feet around your house. See description below in the OUTSIDE category.

The best information about home hardening (what you need to do in and around your buildings) is from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). These are comprehensive, detailed and based on scientific research  performed by people who aren't trying to sell you anything. Download the first checklist and then either the second "everything" guide or the individual fact sheets (in the third bullet):

  • An 11-page Wildfire Home Assessment & Checklist
  • A 40-page Protect Your Property From Wildfire guide, covering roof covering, gutters, vents, windows and doors, decks/patios/porches, siding, fences, outbuildings, fuel tanks and more.
  • Don't want 40 pages? The IBHS has split the guide into individual Research Fact Sheets here on the NFPA website-- get only the topics you want: Attic & Crawl Space Vents; Coatings; Decks; Exterior Sprinkler Systems; Fencing; Fire Spread on Ember-Ignited Decks; Roofing Materials; Skylights; Under-Eave Construction, and Immediate (noncombustible) Zone around your house.

How to Get Alerts and Stay Informed During Wildfire Season  One page with where to find weather advisories, how to sign up for emergency alerts, and, during an ACTUAL EMERGENCY, how to stay updated and informed. Print and post it on your refrigerator!

Roadside Clearing Regulations: make your roads safe for firefighters to get IN and for you to get OUTThis unofficial one-page PDF with diagrams, created by the Coalition of Firewise Communities, tells you the requirements in the unincorporated County, City of Grass Valley and Nevada City, for clearing back from the sides of private roads. There are three times as many private roads in the County as there are public roads, and the property owners are responsible for meeting these requirements. See "Rules & Enforcement" for how to report violations of these roadside clearing regulations.

What do you do when your 100 feet of defensible space goes onto a neighbor's property? Or onto government land? What if your neighbor refuses to clear her property? The five-page document linked here, "What If Your 100 Feet of Defensible Space Goes Beyond Your Property Line?," tells you how to proceed under different scenarios. Read additional detail on our Rules & Enforcement page.

In addition to the above, check out these other great resources (many from past Coalition meetings).

OUTSIDE: defensible space, landscaping, generators

YOUR HOUSE: protecting your dwelling

YOU & YOURS: how to prepare, evacuating

  • CodeRED EXPLAINER: a 2-sided PDF showing the differences between the County CodeRED Emergency Alert System, the CodeRED Mobile App, and other alerts you may receive. Clearly shows why you need to be signed up for our Nevada County CodeRED System. The County also has a very simple, clear graphic chart on this page (scroll down past the video Overviews).
  • Know Your Evacuation Zone - see the County of Nevada section below, third bullet point. It's vital to know your Evacuation Zone number.
  • The Hi-Lo Siren means your life and property are under imminent threat. Learn what the Hi-Lo Siren sounds like (2:30min County video) because it means "YOU MUST LEAVE NOW." 

Lists and Checklists:

Take the Advice of Firefighters:

What is the County of Nevada doing about wildfire preparedness?

Answer: A LOT! Visit the County's emergency preparedness website, ReadyNevadaCounty.org, for links to many great resources.

  • Ready/Set/Go Handbook - 36-page official Handbook for Wildfire Safety and Emergency Preparedness. This is the one mailed to every residential address in the county, every year.
  • CodeRED Emergency Alerts - official county alerts sent by phone, text and/or email. Sign up for CodeRED Emergency Alerts on this page.
  • Know Your Evacuation Zone: click here to find out what your Zone Number is for your home or business address (type your address into the upper left box). When evacuation warnings/orders are issued, they will be by Zone Number, NOT by street names (NOT "south of Ridge Road, west of Hwy 20" etc.). Enter your address in the white search box (upper left of map) to find out YOUR zone number. Write it down! Post it on your refrigerator and make it a Contact in your cellphone (First name: "Evacuation," Last name: "Zone"). Here's a PDF you can make into a large, printed map of ALL ZONES: Evacuation Zone Map Packet - Nevada County.pdf
  • The Ready Nevada County Dashboard has many helpful features. In a wildfire event large enough to trigger the opening of the County's Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Dashboard is where you will find constantly updated information on fire status, evacuations, available shelters and more.
  • Hi Lo Siren County Video - hear what the "YOU MUST LEAVE NOW" warning siren sounds like.
  • Neighbors refusing to clear their hazardous vegetation in unincorporated Nevada County? Register for a free Citizen Access account and Request a Defensible Space Inspection by a county inspector who has the authority to enforce county codes. (If you live in the city of Grass Valley or Nevada City, the steps for reporting a hazard can be found on page 5 of this document.)
  • County Road Vegetation Maintenance - then-County Department of Public Works Director Trisha Tillotson, in the April 2021 Coalition meeting, showed these 14 slides to illustrate their plan for brush clearing for safer ingress and egress on County roads.

Other Resources

Rules & Enforcement

Is today a burn day? Click here to check whether you can burn in unincorporated Nevada County. Burning is always prohibited within city limits of Grass Valley and Nevada City.

To report hazardous vegetation on a property in unincorporated Nevada County (ideally AFTER you've already attempted to communicate with the owner), click here and SCROLL DOWN to "Submit a Code Compliance Request." (Note that you must use Google Chrome to submit the request.) A Defensible Space Inspector will come out to determine if the property is in violation, while you remain anonymous. If you live within city limits of Grass Valley or Nevada City, see page 5 of the "What If Your 100 Feet etc." document linked in the next paragraph.

What do you do when your 100 feet of defensible space goes onto a neighbor's property? Or onto government land (city park, county open space, national forest, etc.)? Or what if your neighbor refuses to clear her property?

The five-page document linked here, "What If Your 100 Feet of Defensible Space Goes Beyond Your Property Line?," tells you how to proceed under different scenarios, including whether structures (like your house) are involved, whether you are in city limits or in unincorporated county, and more. Step-by-step suggestions for trying to get your neighbors to clear their dangerous parcels are included, plus how to file a complaint that will bring out a County Defensible Space Inspector or a city code enforcement staffer.

BLM Defensible Space Permit Application to clear BLM land. See "What If Your 100 Feet etc." document above for when you would need this.

Roadside Clearing Regulations: make your roads safer for firefighters to get IN and for you to get OUT.

This unofficial one-sheet PDF handout from the Coalition of Firewise Communities tells you the requirements, in the unincorporated County, City of Grass Valley and Nevada City, for clearing back from the sides of private roads. Diagrams help make it clear. There are three times as many private roads in the County as there are public roads, and the property owners are responsible for meeting these requirements.

To report Roadside Tree, Vegetation and Brush Concerns along County-maintained roads, click here and choose the link with the "Roadside Tree etc" name (& pine tree icon) under "Submit a Road Maintenance Request." To report problems on private roads, see first paragraph above.


The document described above, "What If Your 100 Feet of Defensible Space etc.", should answer most people's questions and concerns. But if you really want to get into the weeds (bad pun, sorry!), see below for details about local codes and ordinances.

Unincorporated Nevada County:

The County of Nevada has a hazardous vegetation ordinance, entitled Nuisance Declared; Duty to Abate Hazardous Vegetation and Combustible Material (Click #7.4) which requires defensible space around habitable structures (100 feet) as well as along roadways 10 feet wide and 15 feet high) beyond the shoulder of roadways (both sides) that serve as primary ingress and egress routes. Here's the County Code for Private Driveway Construction Standards

California has state standard PRC 4291, but its requirements are incorporated into the Nevada County ordinance, so you do not need to consult state standards unless you really want to know exactly what they are. (The definitions of terms used in 4291 are at PRC 4211).

Nevada County Consolidated Fire District has standards for Fire Protection Water Supply Systems. If you want to install a tank for potential use by firefighters (not for personal, home or agricultural water), it must meet the standards.

City Regulations Are Different

If you live within the city limits of Grass Valley or Nevada City, the Nevada County vegetation ordinance does not apply to you. The specific weed abatement ordinances are below, but we strongly suggest you read "What If Your 100 Feet of Defensible Space etc.", described at the top of this page. It has a section on all the requirements that are applicable to city residents. These requirements must be met by June 1 of every year (since Mother Nature keeps coming back).

City of Grass Valley Weed Abatement Ordinance:

http://www.cityofgrassvalley.com/document-type/municipal-codes Follow this path:

  1. Click on - Open Municipal Codes Window
  2. Click the blue box, Browse Table of Contents
  3. Scroll to Chapter 8, Health and Safety, click on the down arrow to open Chapter 8
  4. Weed Abatement is Chapter 8.36

City of Nevada City:

Vegetation Management, Debris Removal and Abatement Regulations

Talking to your neighbors about defensible spacehelpful PDF from Fire Safe Council with good tips on getting neighbors to buy into the idea of fire safetyIt's the Law! (pdf from Cascade Shores Firewise Committee)

Link to all Nevada County Ordinances:  http://qcode.us/codes/nevadacounty/

Link to all City of Grass Valley Ordinances: https://library.municode.com/ca/grass_valley/codes/code_of_ordinances

Link to all Nevada City Ordinances: https://library.municode.com/ca/nevada_city/codes/code_of_ordinances

Insurance Issues

The March 2021 Coalition meeting was on the topic of insurance, with three speakers giving background from a state, county and local (Fire Safe Council) perspective. A 53-minute edited video of just those speakers can be viewed here.

Many local residents are facing cancellation of their homeowners insurance. Unfortunately, almost nothing can be done at the local level to help with this problem. This page provides a few resources that might help you figure out your next steps.

You may not know that all local insurance agencies, even those affiliated with the same national brand, are independently owned brokerages that have different relationships with different Surplus Line Insurers (see definition of that below). This means that if one Allstate (for example) agent can't help you, another Allstate agent might be able to. You have to make a lot of phone calls. Call around. 

List of Approved Surplus Line Insurers (LASLI) 

What does "Surplus Lines" mean? Often called the “safety valve” of the insurance industry, surplus lines insurers (which are usually non-admitted carriers, see below) fill the need for coverage in the marketplace by insuring those risks that are declined by the standard underwriting and pricing processes of admitted insurance carriers.

Admitted vs Non-Admitted Insurance Company - what does that mean? PDF

Website of the California Fair Plan - insurer of last resort. 

Watch this video of the town hall held in Grass Valley on August 23, 2019 with state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, which has helpful information for those who are being non-renewed. To avoid local politician's opening remarks, skip to the 6-minute mark to start watching.

As of early 2021, Commissioner Lara has made progress in providing  resources relative to wildfire and insurance concerns. Here is the website page for Wildfire Response and Readiness on the California Department of Insurance website.

The following relates to Coalition activities only -- not helpful for individual residents

Insurance Questionnaire PDF For Coalition Survey

Insurance Questionnaire Word (Type directly onto document and return to Bob as attachment)

Fire Threat Areas - Map from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC)


Caltrans Highway Roadside Clearing

Everyone in Nevada County needs to speak out about the need for safer evacuation routes along state highways.

Read More  

Fire Safe Council

The Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities (the website where you are now) and the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County are two separate, not-related organizations. Visit our Coalition of Firewise Communities' About Us page for information about our all-volunteer organization, which has no staff, no dues and no budget.

The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is a public benefit, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with paid full-time and part-time staff and a board of directors. It was formed in 1998 and is funded by grants, memberships,  donations and fee-for-service programs.

Track chipper available from Fire Safe CouncilThe Fire Safe Council coordinates the formation of individual Firewise Communities (FWCs), and manages their certification (and re-certification) through the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Because the Coalition has no funding or budget, the Fire Safe Council makes its online Zoom account available for Coalition use and pays for the Coalition's website hosting and meeting space rental.

Coalition monthly meeting agendas always include a report from a representative of the Fire Safe Council, typically the executive director, the FWC coordinator, or the board chair. 

The Fire Safe Council's office has a wealth of literature from various fire agencies that will help homeowners on virtually any wild-fire related topic. They offer a chipping program, a Special Needs Assistance Program for low-income elderly and disabled, and other services. At their website, you can request a free visit from a trained, volunteer Defensible Space Advisor who will come to your property and help you learn what needs to be done to reduce risks around your home.

Visit the Fire Safe Council website. The Council's phone number is (530) 272-1122, and their address is 143 B Spring Hill Drive, Suite 13, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Check their website for office hours. Park in the spaces marked with white letters "OCS" at the edge of the lot facing Spring Hill Drive. Many spaces directly in front of their office are marked/reserved for other businesses .

Other Fire-Preparedness Agencies & Resources

Official Sites of public and private wildfire safety organizations, with helpful information

To get on the email list for upcoming UC Continuing Education events about prescribed burns, go to:
https://ucanr.edu/sites/forestry/Forest_Vegetation_Management/Prescribed_Fire/. Click “Contact”, then “Join Email List” to sign up for notices of training and events.

To watch the 2 recorded UCCE sponsored prescribed burning webinars from 2020, go to: Prescribed fire webinar series in Mariposa county - http://cemariposa.ucanr.edu/Fire_Information/Events/ and/or Prescribed Fire for Foresters - http://cehumboldt.ucanr.edu/Programs/Fire/Workshops/Prescribed_Fire_for_Foresters/.

That webinar connects to these printed resources:

  • Prescribed Fire Liability in California (link)
    • Building a burn trailer to support your community's prescribed fire efforts (link)
    • Burning by the Day: Why cost/acre is not a good metric for prescribed fire (link)
    • Options for prescribed fire on private lands in California (link)
    • Is funding always worth the cost? (link)

To get on the contact list for our local Yuba Bear Burn Cooperative contact Jamie Ervin at: jamie@sierraforestlegacy.org.

Controlled burns are very much key to the future of forest health and fire mitigation efforts in our area, according to many experts. First-timers should probably start on a small scale in the range of 5 to 50 acres with you and your surrounding neighbors. Larger-scale projects in the area of 50 to 500 acres have funding opportunities if you are willing to be a community organizer. Basically, you organize the work and the experts come in and teach how to manage the burns.


Fire Threat Areas - Map

Sign up for Alerts about when PGE will turn off power. Register for power shut off notifications here.

Manage Trees and Plants Near Powerlines

PG&E Community Wildfire Safety Program - Information on the PGE - COMMUNITY WILDFIRE SAFETY PROGRAM  - Working together to create fire defense zones around power lines.

Contact - Joanne Drummond, local PG&E representative for the Community Wildfire Safety Program

Joanne Drummond
Vegetation Program Manager, CEMA - Fuels Reduction
Joanne.Drummond@pge.com | Office (530) 889-3166 | Cell (530) 510-1064

Articles about PGE

For FWC AdminS

This page has information and resources for helping the leaders of individual Firewise Communities (FWCs) administer their local FWC.

Educational Resources

This website is for you and your FWC members. Use anything here to help the residents in your neighborhood(s) know what to do and how to do it. If a topic is missing that you want to cover, let us know and we'll consider adding it. Our Education Resources section has several excellent one-page PDFs you can print and distribute (or link to in your emails to your members). In particular, be sure everyone has a copy of Early Warning Alerts-Weather & How to Stay Informed.


Is there a "problem" property in your FWC, a neighbor (or absentee owner) who doesn't comply with required county or city abatement ordinances? Try using this: 30-Day Courtesy Notice Program: Resources for Implementing. Download and read both documents linked below. This has been successfully used in numerous Firewise Communities to convince owners of "dirty" properties that they need to come into compliance with the law.

Generic 30 Day Notice  MS Word

30 Day Notice Guidelines  Making the "30 Day Notice" program work - MS Word

Communication with your FWC Residents

Newsletters take a lot of work. This one, created by Marty Main, can be used by any Firewise Community to help educate your residents. The information is timeless, just tell them to ignore the 2019 date.

Generic Sample Newsletter PDF

How Do Other FWCs Communicate With Their Residents? -  a PDF summary of 36 Firewise communitiesthat responded to a survey asking about the methods, frequency and effectiveness of communicating firewise messages to their member households, as of November 2019. Gives you a good idea of what others are doing (email, newsletters, etc.) and the challenges they are facing.

Names of the rep who filled out the survey are included, but contact information is not provided for privacy reasons. If you want to contact a rep, please use the "Contact the Coalition" form on this website to request his or her phone and email.

Common Findings From Firewise Hazard Assessments Powerpoint presented at October 2019 Coalition meeting (with photos) converted to PDF - Fire scientist Jo Ann Fites-Kaufman described the many problems she sees when she evaluates in-training Firewise Communities for their NFPA certification. Does your FWC have these problems?

Shovel Ready Projects - Checklist. Gives you a basic idea of what's needed if your neighborhood has a large project that requires funding to get it done. "Shovel ready" means that if it were to get funded, you could almost immediately put a shovel in the ground and start, because you've already figured out (and obtained) the permits or permissions needed, gotten bids from contractors, etc. Helps document your project so that it can be "bundled" with other projects in grant-funding proposals by the Fire Safe Council.

Guidelines for Websites for individual FWCs: If your Firewise Community is able to create and maintain your own website:

  • The primary focus of your FWCommunity website should be to post your LOCAL neighborhood/community information such as:
    • Your map, showing the boundaries of your Firewise Community
    • Your Community date of certification or when you became an "In Training" community
    • Important contact information for members of your Firewise Community
    • Community Evacuation Map w/ routes and instructions to find 2+ ways out of community

  • Please do not create your own pages with generic educational information, such as on defensible space, roadside clearing specs, emergency planning, etc. The risk is that your very local website may not be able to keep up with constantly-changing information and updated research. It is important to direct homeowners and residents to sites with the most up-to-date information from government and fire agencies. Instead, create links to these official websites on your local community website. 

Working groups


Enforcement Document Action Plan - Formally adopted by coalition vote, February 27, 2018


Evacuation Document Action Plan - Formally adopted by coalition vote, February 27, 2018

Emergency Alert Buddy SystemPDF 

Emergency Alert Buddy System  Word (For editing to accommodate your FWC)

Emergency Alert Buddy System PowerPoint  - Virginia Gompertz - Lake Wildwood

Real Estate

Rea Estate

Zoom Meeting Archive

Zoom Meeting Archive & Minutes

Our videos are on our YouTube Channel. Videos starting March 2021 have timestamps (click SHOW MORE in the YouTube description) so you can skip directly to the speaker you want to hear  -- click on the speaker's blue timestamp (e.g., 38:20) to jump there.

November 9th - Special Meeting - Firewise Reps - Q&A with Pat Leach
November Zoom Meeting video on Beyond the 100ft: Cultivating a Healthy Treescape  
October Zoom Meeting video on DEMYSTIFYING CodeRED  - Telecom Resiliency - South County Shaded Fuel Break
September  Zoom Meeting video on River & Bennett Fire Recap - Show and Tell Review of Educational Resources
August Zoom Meeting video on SURVIVOR STORIES.  
July Zoom Meeting video on EVACUATION.
June Zoom Meeting video on SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
May Zoom Meeting video on EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS
March Zoom Meeting video on HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
February Zoom Meeting video - 2021 Kickoff  +  February agenda 
October Zoom Meeting video on PSPS CHANGES (starts at 25:46 minutes) & GENERATORS: TYPES, HOW TO CHOOSE &  SAFETY (starts at 56:50 minutes)
September Meeting video - Ready Nevada County DASHBOARD demo only, or full meeting here. (NOTE: change and updates to the Dashboard are discussed in the Sept 2021 meeting)
August Zoom Meeting - YouTube
July Zoom Meeting - YouTube
June Zoom Meeting - YouTube
May Zoom Meeting - YouTube
April Zoom Meeting - YouTube

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