The objective of the Nevada County Roadside Vegetation Management Program is to provide the public with safe, functional egress through roadside vegetation management to mitigate wildfire threats during evacuation. Nevada County Department of Public Works (DPW) maintains 562 miles of roadway and an additional 50 miles established under various road maintenance districts including Permanent Road Divisions and County Service Areas. DPW has identified 300 miles of roadway that will undergo hazardous fuels treatment as part of this project. Public roads were identified through the County of Nevada Circulation Plan 2009, County of Nevada Emergency Access Route Study 2000, Nevada County Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update 2017, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Regional Severity Zone Map, and Regional Emergency Access Routes Map. This project focuses on high traffic areas.
Nevada County will also partner with the Truckee Fire Protection District, which has identified 17.5 miles of roadway and 3.5 acres in 6 subdivisions in need of treatment to create fuel breaks and safety corridors for use in evacuations.
Hazardous vegetation will be cleared from critical evacuation routes across Nevada County from west to east.
Due to the size and complexity of the project area and the planning necessary to render this project shovel-ready, this project will be phased.
Phase 1, Planning, is expected to take 18 months and will consist of project management, field surveys and geospatial mapping necessary to digitize the County of Nevada right-of-way, treatment prescription design, biological, botanical, and archeological surveys to satisfy environmental permitting.
Phase II, Implementation, is expected to take 18 months and will consist of Phase II project management, hazardous fuels reduction and development of a plan for maintenance, and biomass disposal. NEPA analysis will be a FEMA responsibility and take place between phases. This mitigation solution is not dependent on other grants or projects. The project will leverage ongoing and planned Nevada County Department of Public Works roadside vegetation management activities in order to improve the success of future maintenance activities.
As the result of a Presidential Disaster Declaration, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds plans and projects that reduce the effects of future natural disasters. In California, these funds are administered by the Cal OES Hazard Mitigation Section. Eligible subapplicants include state agencies, local governments, special districts, and some private non-profits. The County of Nevada was awarded funds for this project via the HMGP program.