Newsletter‎ > ‎November 2018‎ > ‎


posted Nov 7, 2018, 1:03 PM by Kristin Snell

by Hank Weston, District IV Supervisor—Nevada County Board of Supervisors

It has now been over a year since the Lobo and McCourtney fires, also referred to as the Wind Complex, ripped through Nevada County and District IV in October 2017. All in all, nearly 30 homes were destroyed which included approximately 60 structures with almost 900 acres scorched. With the Nevada County of Office of Emergency Services’ assistance, residents have been able to make an almost full recovery. However, the devastation and the impact from the fires is still a vivid memory for many and especially for those directly impacted. CALFIRE ultimately determined that there was evidence that the cause of the fires resulted from PG&E’s failure to maintain the proper clearance distance of vegetation around electrical lines. Subsequently, PG&E has double downed on its vegetation management under its Community Wildfire Safety Program that includes tagging, cutting, and removing trees and other hazardous vegetation within 12 feet of every power line with full clearance to the sky above in extreme high-fire danger areas. 

Since the fires, the County has also taken swift action to get more people signed up on Code RED, increased hazardous vegetation inspections, sought additional funding for fire mitigation efforts and has restricted fire in the Yuba River corridor. However, it remains extremely important for residents and homeowners to take every precautionary effort on their part to help prevent fires on their property and to be prepared in the event of an emergency evacuation. So if you have not already received your Nevada County Fire Season Guide 2018-2019, do yourself a favor and get one at The Guide is a great resource to help you and your family prepare to prevent and respond to a wildfire emergency. The Guide also includes a 2018 Emergency Preparedness Guide and Evacuation Plan that includes checklists on evacuation planning with suggested items to take during an evacuation, home survival kits and information on how to stay informed with definitions and procedures.

In other news, on September 25, 2018 the Board of Supervisors discussed the issue of nuisances caused in residential zoned neighborhoods and communities from the discharge of firearms. Over the course of my tenure as District IV Supervisor, I have received various noise and safety complaints throughout the years regarding continuous shooting for long hours, sometimes reported as all-day events that cause loud disruptive bursts, concerns over the discharging of firearms that are too close to neighboring residences with projectiles penetrating neighboring parcel boundary lines, and impacts of increased traffic to neighboring communities. Subsequently, I proposed to the Board that a reasonable balance could be struck for shooting on residential zoned parcels that include RA, R1, R2 and R3 to mitigate the negative impacts that shooting can create as a nuisance to the neighboring community, while at the same time preserving shooting and hunting as a major leisure activity and valued right within our County. As such, the Board directed staff to research and provide recommendations for amendments to the County Code that include: a) increasing the minimum distance that a firearm can be fired between any dwelling, house, residence and other building on RA, R1, R2, and R3 parcels; b) increasing the time that a firearm is prohibited from being discharged on RA, R1, R2, and R3 parcels; c) developing restrictions to limit continuous shooting on RA, R1, R2, and R3 parcels; and d) to prohibit the discharge of any firearm in an area that has a Red Flag Warning or Fire Weather Watch issued by The National Weather Service. Staff will be bringing back a set of recommendations for the Board’s consideration next month in November – so stayed tuned.