On the 4th of July the City of Grass Valley / Nevada City fire department participated in the community’s annual 4th of July parade held in Nevada City. Crews hosted the Nevada City council on Engine 5 and the antique engine 3 from Nevada City. Members from Grass Valley City council rode on the turn table of Truck 2. The event was well attended by so many, and both the crews and council appreciated seeing so many in attendance.

Waiting for the parade to start in Nevada City

 In the evening the City of Grass Valley hosted the annual fireworks show at Dorey Dr. and Hwy 49/20.  The event was well attended, and we have received extensive positive feedback throughout the community.  The Grass Valley Fire Department handled the safety inspections of the event and the shows set up in conjunction with The Grass Valley Police Department.  The fire department had multiple fire units on standby from the City of Grass Valley, Nevada City, Cal Fire, Ophir Hill and Nevada County Consolidated. 

The fireworks

Crews did extensive work pre-wetting the area around the show to help reduce the threat of fire.  The fire response was coordinated by Battalion Chief Armstrong and Battalion Chief Drummond.  At the conclusion of the show fire crews from Cal Fire’s CAN 23 hand crew spread out over the area to complete a grid search.  CNA 23 with a California National Guard hand crew that work with Cal Fire personnel.  A grid search is a systemic search done to ensure the area has been completely covered and no undetected spot fires had occurred. 

While crews were out on foot, Grass Valley Fire Battalion Chief Armstrong and Battalion Chief Drummond worked with Grass Valley SGT Novell using a drone outfitted with infrared technology looking for anything that may have been missed, spot fire-wise. 

New command truck for GVFD

The City’s new Fire Command Vehicle was utilized to assist with this task.  The new command vehicle has multiple technology tools to assist in incident command and is the only vehicle of its type in the fire service in Western Nevada County.  The vehicle's on board computers and monitors were paired with the police department’s drone to provide real time video of the area.  Crews cleared the area with the drone twice and nothing was found. The resources were released by 11 pm. 

Editor's note: To a question by WebhamRadio about the small spot fires during the fireworks, Armstrong clarified: “I didn’t mention it because we considered them insignificant. But I am happy to provide the information. We had 4 small spots all were smaller than approximately 5×5. The area was masticated prior to the event and wet down with a water tender and engine just before the show started. We had 1 type 1 engine, 2 type 3 engines, 2 type 6 engines a water tender and the cal fire CNA crew all in place to staff the event.”