NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) – As wildfires get larger and deadlier, one local school district is on the frontlines clearing danger away from classrooms.
In Nevada County, the place where kids go to learn is also surrounded by some of the most dangerous fire risks in the state.READ MORE: California Expands Drought Emergency To Large Swath Of State
Nevada City School District Superintendent Monica Daughterty wants to be ready.
“It kind of makes your stomach turn for sure because you do, as a member of this community and somebody working at the school, feel that responsibility for the students,” she said.
Her district partnered with the Nevada County Fire Safe Council and the California Conservation Corp to learn more about the safety needs on campus.
“We have a lot of lessons that have been learned from the Camp Fire,” said Nevada Fire Safe Council Executive Director Jamie Jones.
Several years ago in Paradise, thousands of students were evacuated. Photos show flames just feet away from their school bus as they make the journey to an evacuation center.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Proposes Budget That Would Send $600 Stimulus Checks To Two-Thirds Of Californians
“It’s not just in somebody else’s neck of the woods, it’s all of us and it hit really close to home for our community,” Jones said.
So Nevada City Schools launched a massive effort to clear trees and inspect classrooms for fire risk. Daugherty said the trees around the school used to be so dense, you couldn’t see 5 feet through them.
“It started with the removal of the diseased trees. Then we went to thinning out the trees and clearing all of the underbrush,” she said.
All of that clearing is a barrier against fire. The trees removed are now rows of firewood available to the community for free, a symbol of the massive progress made and more to come.
“It just motivates you to continue the work further because you do have the responsibility to protect your kids and the community,” Daugherty said.MORE NEWS: Car Crashes Into Sutter County Home, Catches Fire
In just weeks, Nevada City Schools will start fire prevention work inside classrooms by replacing wood paneling and installing new vents that would block out ash.