Nevada City Schools Completes Massive Tree Clearing Project In Fire Prevention Effort

As wildfires get larger and deadlier, one local school district is on the frontlines clearing danger away from classrooms.

Video Transcript

- Preparing for what may be another brutal fire season. We hear a lot about fireproofing homes and neighborhoods, but what about schools?

- CBS 13's Anna Giles with a local school district clearing danger from classrooms.

ANNA GILES: In Nevada County, the place where kids go to learn is also surrounded by some of the most dangerous fire risk in the state. Nevada City Schools superintendent Monica Daugherty wants to be ready.

MONICA DAUGHERTY: It kind of makes your stomach churn for sure because, you know, you do, as a member of this community, and especially working at the school, feel that responsibility for the students.

JAMIE JONES: We have a lot of lessons that have been learned from the camp fire.

ANNA GILES: Several years ago in Paradise, thousands of students were evacuated. These photos showing flames just feet away from their school bus as they make the journey to an evacuation center.

JAMIE JONES: It's not just in somebody else's, you know, neck of the woods. It's all of us. And it really close to home for our communities.

ANNA GILES: So Nevada City schools launched a massive effort to clear trees and inspect classrooms for fire risk.

We're just yards away from the building where students would shelter-in-place if a fire were to pass through. This area used to be so dense and filled with trees, that you wouldn't be able to see me where I'm standing right now.

MONICA DAUGHERTY: It started with the removal of the diseased trees. Then we went to thinning out the trees and clearing all the underbrush.

ANNA GILES: 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.

MONICA DAUGHERTY: It just motivates you to continue the work further because you do have a responsibility to protect the students and your community.

- In just weeks, in Nevada City schools will start fire prevention work inside classrooms, replacing wood paneling and installing new vents that can block out.