California’s Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered emergency drought precautions across 41 counties in the state, including both Nevada and Placer counties. Without much moisture accumulation this past fall and winter, the forest floor is already dried out long before the hottest days of summer have arrived.
Knowing what to look out for, how to prepare, and how to stay informed will help protect all of us from what Mother Nature might have in store for us this summer.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2020 there were 30 Red Flag Warning days from May – November, versus 2019 which had only 8 Red Flag Warning days.
In Truckee, all open flames are banned during Red Flag Warning days.
As a result of state-wide research and local learnings, the Truckee Fire District issued a district-wide fire ban this past May. This means, with the exception of campgrounds, all wood and charcoal burning fires are banned, including fire pits, barbecues, and bonfires. Natural gas, propane, and pellet-burning barbecues, and fire pits are allowed.
A Red Flag Warning is issued by the National Weather Service when conditions combine to produce the possibility of extreme fire behavior. Any combination of these conditions can prompt a Red Flag Warning Day: Strong sustained winds, high temperatures and low humidity levels (20% and below), dry fuels, possibility of dry lighting strikes.
The Truckee Fire District issued a district-wide fire ban in May 2021. This means, with the exception of campgrounds, all wood and charcoal burning fires are banned, including fire pits, barbecues, and bonfires. Natural gas, propane, and pellet-burning barbecues, and fire pits are allowed. For more information, visit truckeefire.org.
POWER OUTAGES DURING WILDFIRE SEASON
Residents and businesses are urged to be prepared for prolonged power outages this summer if NV Energy turns off power transmission to Truckee due to extreme fire danger. NV Energy has announced an expansion of their wildfire safety de-energization program referred to as Public Safety Outage Management (PSOM), much like PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). Go to the TDPUD’s website at tdpud.org for more information and to sign up for automated alerts via text or email by clicking on My Account in upper right corner. TDPUD will attempt to notify all customers if a NV Energy PSOM is planned between 48-24 hours and 12-4 hours before the outage.
Every household will have a different plan for what they do and where they go in an emergency. Here are some questions to ask yourself when creating your household emergency plan:
How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
Do I know my emergency “zone”?
What is my shelter plan?
What is my evacuation route?
What is my family/household communication plan?
Where is the most accessible location to store my emergency preparedness kit?
FIND YOUR FIVE & SHARE YOUR PLAN
Increase your preparedness by sharing your plan with five trusted Emergency Allies and do the same for others. The more connected we are, the more likely we are to get accurate information in a timely manner and survive an emergency. You and your family may not be together during a fire, so consider communication strategies for your loved ones who spend time with others. More information can be found at mynevadacounty.com.
NIXLE — In order to stay informed of wildfire activity, both the Truckee Police Department and Truckee Fire Protection District use Nixle alerts. The Nixle notification system allows for real-time communications between local agencies and the communities they serve, including emergency announcements, weather advisories, and various safety hazards affecting traffic, and air quality.
To sign-up for Nixle alerts text your zip code (i.e. 96161) to 888777 for mobile alerts that come directly from the Truckee Police and Truckee Fire emergency communications teams.
KNOW YOUR ZONE
In the event of an emergency evacuation, it is critical that you Know Your Zone, meaning the unique zone name in which emergency services will reference when attempting to rapidly communicate evacuation orders.
3. Find your zone in the pop-up window and write it down Help spread the word, share this video, talk to friends and family about their preparedness plan, and stay #ReadyNevadaCounty!
Stickers and magnets available at fire stations and cultural events throughout Nevada County.
The following websites provide useful information for emergency preparedness and planning and information regarding current incidents. Take the time to plan ahead and create your own personal action plan with the useful information that can be found on these websites:
Take time to make an emergency plan and kit for your household. Kit should contain a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency, as you may need to survive on your own for several days. Checklist can be found at ready.gov/kit.
One easy and proactive way to protect yourself and your family from any potential wildfire threats is to establish a defensible space around your property.
Defensible space is a barrier you can create between your home and the vegetation that surrounds it, including trees, grass, pine needles and cones, and shrubs. Removing all vegetation within a 30-foot perimeter of your home and keeping the grass mowed no higher than 4 inches is a good place to start. If your yard extends further it’s smart to also remove low-hanging branches on trees and thin out the vegetation to create space between any clusters. It’s safest to not store firewood near the home or under a deck and to remove any build-up on your roof and rain gutters.
There are several ways Truckee residents can responsibly dispose of yard waste:
Yard Waste Service
Keep Truckee Green has worked with the Tahoe-Truckee Sierra Disposal to launch the Yard Waste Service in 2019. Every household can request up to three green carts (and make special requests for more) which are picked up every other week every May – November.
Greenwaste Punch Card
Every May – October the Eastern Regional Landfill allows for residents to drop off up to 6 yards of yard waste for free. Bring in your ID and a utility bill and you’ll receive your transferable punch card for the season. Keep Truckee Green also organizes Green Waste Drop Off Events each spring that can be found at KeepTruckeeGreen.org.
Dumpster Rental & Additional Pick Up Service
The Tahoe-Truckee Sierra Disposal offers one-week green waste dumpster rentals and four additional waste pick-ups each year for all residents. Both services must be scheduled in advance by calling TTSD or at Waste101.com.