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KVMR To Offer 4-Hour Fire Safety Special Saturday Morning

Normally, the sound of folk, roots and bluegrass music fill the airwaves of KVMR 89.5 FM each Saturday morning. 

But this is no "normal" year when it comes to dry weather conditions so some of the mandolins and guitars will be put away to make way for a four-hour special on fire safety. 

Oh, there'll still be music, but the focus from 8 a.m. to noon will be various guests discussing emergency preparedness, firefighting capabilities and related topics.

In other words, folks, are you really ready for a fire in your neighborhood?

"If nothing else, the Lowell Fire was a wake-up call that major fire season is already here and already bigtime," said KVMR Program Director Steve Baker. "We're choosing one of our largest radio audiences to offer this vital information." 

Veteran KVMR broadcaster Larry Hillberg -- host of the popular "Backroads" Saturday morning show -- is behind the special programming and is partnering with Joanne Drummond of the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County.

"We want to do something for the community that's totally relevant," Hillberg noted.  "This is."

In fact, listeners and community members can not only call in questions during the program (530/265-9555) but actually come to the station at 120 Bridge Street at Spring Street, downtown Nevada City.

"We want to encourage people to come in and visit the station," Hillberg explained. "The Fire Safe Council will have materials there for visitors, and many of the on-air guests will stay to answer questions in person."

Kicking things off  at 8 a.m. is Drummond, who will talk about wildfire danger, evacuation planning, air ambulance services, proper house signage and defensible space. 

Representatives from local fire departments will discuss their duties as first responders, while another segment will cover the effect of the four-year drought on forest health and what's termed "proper spacing" for tree health and fire prevention.

Meanwhile, representatives of both the Nevada and Placer counties' offices of emergency services will be guests, along with CALFIRE representatives discussing their air attack capabilities, the strategies used in the Lowell Fire and related topics. 

There'll even be a discussion of insuring homes in a high wildfire hazard area, the so-called fire tax and how both KVMR and Yubanet provide  communication services in fire emergency situations. 

"Here's a way we can do something that benefits the community at large," added Hillberg. "We're demonstrating how you can get qualified people to tell you what you can do to be smarter, safer and savvier in fire season." 

See full schedule here.


"So many great artists, so many great shows, so little time," chimed in KVMR Membership Coordinator Adriana Kelly. 

That was Kelly's way of noting this Friday morning marks the noncommercial, eclectic radio station's latest -- and largest ever -- edition of "Ticketpalooza," a promotion of discounted ticket prices to regional music and theater events, with savings of up to 70% for some of the offers. 

"It's our idea of 'reverse scalping," she smiled. "We'll be offering over 80 sets of tickets to some 50 events from 20 different area promoters and venues."

But who's counting, right?

It all takes place Friday only on "The Morning Show" and "Nevada City Limits", 7 a.m. to noon.

"It's a win-win-win situation," Kelly explained. "Promoters get media attention and fill seats, listeners save bigtime on events and KVMR gets to keep the money."

She added that not even usual membership drives have had this number of thank you gift tickets available.

Ticket offers include the Fall Strawberry Music Festival, Nevada City Film Festival, the KVMR Celtic Festival and the American River Music Festival. 

"And there's a lot more cake below that icing," asserted Kelly. 

 More information about Ticketpalooza is available here