For those of you who I didn't see out and about at Independence Day celebrations throughout District 5 last week, I hope you had a fabulous 4th of July!
Every year over the Independence Day holiday, I spend a little time reflecting on all of the wonderful opportunities we are afforded by living in this great country, especially the freedom we enjoy
One of the great benefits of our freedom is our ability to speak up and make our concerns and issues known to our leaders at all levels of government. What I have been hearing from many of you is that you are looking for help with the frightening prospect of learning that your fire insurance will not be renewed. I have heard from many constituents throughout the county at Board of Supervisors meetings, MAC meetings, and through phone calls and emails to my office that their insurance is cancelled or that their premiums are doubling or tripling in price.
At our Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, we authorized staff to work with various state organizations and agencies to explore solutions to the issue of fire insurance non-renewal for our residents. We also authorized the Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Kirk Uhler, to sign a letter to State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara on behalf of our Board outlining the severity of this situation so he comprehends how serious this issue is for Placer County residents.
In the letter, we also identified some factors that insurance companies could consider to ensure their risk modeling standards do not ignore steps people have taken voluntarily to keep their property fire safe – things like vegetation management on individual parcels and neighborhood efforts to be recognized as Firewise communities. I am hopeful that our efforts will make the insurance industry and state lawmakers aware of this issue and help to find a path toward a resolution to this serious problem.
if you have received a non-renewal notice on your fire insurance, please file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance. This will also help Commissioner Lara better understand the situation for Placer County residents.
I also met with State Senator Brian Dahle recently to share what I have heard from you, and I will continue to work with state legislators and officials to ensure they hear your stories and are aware of your struggles.
In order to help us get a better understanding of exactly how far reaching this issue is, we are creating a survey for Placer County residents. As soon as the survey is available, I will send out another email so we can start compiling additional Placer County data.
Many Placer County departments and other agencies in the area are working together to help mitigate wildfire and prepare in the event of an emergency. We've received updates at our past two Board of Supervisors meetings from the Office of Emergency Services and the Placer County Sheriff's Office on efforts they have undertaken. Yesterday, I joined my fellow Supervisors and county staff on a tour in Colfax and Grass Valley of CAL FIRE's Emergency Command Center, Air Attack Base, the North Fork Shaded Fuel Break, and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center. This was an opportunity for us to learn more about dispatch services and wildfire mitigation efforts within Placer County. It is great to see such cooperation and collaboration between different agencies.
Finally, I want to ensure that you are prepared if a fire is to strike in your community. If you have not already signed up for Placer Alert, do so today. Placer Alert is the notification system the county will use in case of an emergency. You can enter your cell number, landline, and email to to receive messages.
Protect Placer is a great website to bookmark as it has links to resources to provide information on how to prepare and safeguard your family- including to CAL FIRE's Ready For Wildfire, the Placer County Fire Safe Alliance, and many others.
PG&E has set up a special Wildfire Preparedness site with information including preparing for potential power shut-offs. PG&E will also be holding a Wildfire Safety Open House on July 24th from 6-8pm at the Holiday Inn Auburn if you'd like to learn more about their efforts this summer.
I encourage you to check out those websites and be prepared. If you have any questions related to fire or any other issue affecting your community, do not hesitate to reach out.