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The Taylorsville Firewise Committee is proud of its new designation. From left: Kyle Rodgers, Kelly Tan, Frank Hanson, Mike Yost, Sally Yost, Doti McDowell and Gladys Miller. Not pictured: Conni Bock, Tony Balbiani. Photo submitted

Taylorsville becomes county’s newest Firewise community

Taylorsville is the latest in a growing number of Plumas County communities to receive official “Firewise” recognition from the National Fire Protection Association. A core group of community members has been working toward this designation over the past two years.

One of the first Taylorsville Firewise projects was the creation and distribution of over 100 reflective address signs to interested property owners. The Firewise Committee also held several informational sessions during community events, and worked with an individual landowner to support fuel reduction on private property with the help of Sierra Institute’s P-CREW program. The Firewise Committee, led by Sally and Mike Yost, looks forward to engaging more community members in the future.

Why are community members volunteering their efforts to make Taylorsville a Firewise community? Long-time Taylorsville residents and Firewise committee members, Frank Hanson and Doti McDowell, shared their thoughts. “I have lived in Taylorsville my whole life, and worked in the forestry profession all of my working years. I have seen the population change, the environment change and how those two factors interact and change. With the threat of fire so much more prevalent these days with those changes and the community living in a forested drainage adjoining the valley, it was time to try and help people here get the help and results to make our town safer and more secure from fire,” said Frank. His thoughts were echoed by Doti, who got involved because she “wants to see Taylorsville safe from fires.”

Committee member Kelly Tan, owner of Young’s Market, has been helpful in distributing firewire brochures and materials at her store. She also hosts the sign-up board for people who want to order reflective address signs.

Another property owner, Conni Bock, said, “My family has been in Taylorsville for over 50 years. My property backs up to Forest Service land, and I have been recently working hard to thin the forest on our property. We applaud the Firewise committee members and all they have done to make us property owners more aware of fire reduction strategies. We find the time and effort to adequately thin our whole property overwhelming and look forward to working with the community to make us all safer.”

Firewise USA is a voluntary program that provides a framework to help neighbors get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and communities. Each resident can get involved by cleaning up flammable materials around their house, talking to their neighbors, or contacting a Firewise committee member to get involved with future community-wide efforts.

In 2013 and again in 2020, Taylorsville residents were advised to be ready to evacuate as a result of threats from wildfires on Mt. Hough. Fortunately, the US Forest Service was able to contain and extinguish both fires.

The Taylorsville Firewise community is aware that unnatural forest fuels buildup and unprecedented climate/weather conditions have combined to create dangerous wildfire conditions. Our goal is to involve the support of all residents to mitigate that threat and increase the fire safety in the entire community.

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