The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Firefighter News - January 2015


Firefighter News - January 2015

Holiday Tree Disposal

Thirty seconds is all it takes for a dry Christmas tree to be consumed by fire. Many people will leave their trees up through the New Year — but fire doesn't take a holiday. The Sonoma County Fire Prevention Officers Association (FPO) urges everyone to dispose of their trees as soon as possible, once it begins to show signs of drying out. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), one-third of all Christmas tree fires occur in January. The first rule of tree disposal: Never put the tree or branches in a fireplace or wood burning stove! Sonoma County Waste Management has made it easy to recycle with three options:

1.  There is no charge for county residents to put trees in your yard waste container and place at the curb on your regular yard waste collection day.
The tree MUST BE CUT TO FIT inside the container as trees sticking out of the container can interfere with the lifting arm on the truck. Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Windsor and unincorporated Sonoma County have whole tree collection. Visit or call 800-243-0291 to confirm the week of pick-up. Place your un-flocked tree beside your yard waste container on your regular collection day.

2.  Call (707) 565-3333 for an appointment to have a non-profit pickup your tree.
The pickup dates are December 28, 29 & January 4, 5, 11, & 12, 2014. Call ahead to schedule a pickup. The suggested donation for this service is $7 for trees less than 6 feet and $10 for larger trees.

3. Special whole tree collection for Rohnert Park multifamily complexes.
Managers of multifamily complexes in Rohnert Park can arrange to have their tenant’s trees picked up by special arrangement. Contact (707) 586-2283.

3.  Free drop-off locations throughout the county.
These are tentative locations, dates, & times; please confirm before dropping off your tree. Residents may take up to two trees to any of the following drop-off locations at no charge:



Cloverdale Citrus Fair,
Washington Street entrance

Daily 8-4

Dec 26-Jan 15




Cotati Fire Station,
1 East Cotati Avenue


Daily 8-4

Dec 26-Jan 17




Healdsburg Corporation Yard
550 Westside Road


Daily 8-5

Dec 26-Jan 16




Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds
175 Fairgrounds Drive

Daily 8-5

Dec 26-Jan 19


Rohnert Park


Rohnert Park Corporation Yard
600 Enterprise Drive

Daily 9-4

Dec 26-Jan 16


Santa Rosa


Sonoma County Fairgrounds
1350 Bennett Valley Road


Daily 8-4

Dec 26-Jan 9




Sebastopol Corporation Yard
714 Johnson Street

Daily 8-4

Dec 26-Jan 16




Windsor Corporation Yard
8400 Windsor Road

Daily 8-5

Dec 26-Feb 1


Unincorporated area

Annapolis Transfer Station
33549 Annapolis Road

Wed-Sat 8-4

Dec 26-Jan 17



Guerneville Transfer Station
13450 Pocket Road/Hwy116

M-Tu, Th-Sa 8-4

Dec 26-Jan 17



Healdsburg Transfer Station
166 Alexander Valley Road


Mon-Sat 8-4

Dec 26-Jan 17



Central Disposal Site
500 Meacham Road

Mon-Sat 7-3

Dec 26-Jan 17



Sonoma Transfer Station
4376 Stage Gulch Road

Mon-Sat 7-3

Dec 26-Jan 17


The longer Christmas trees are in the home, the more they dry out and increasingly become fire hazards. Removing the tree from your home and properly disposing of it as soon as possible will minimize the risk of a treasured holiday season becoming a tragic one. For more information on holiday fire safety, or other fire safety and prevention information, please contact Corinne Barclay of Sonoma County FPO’s (707) 778-4468. The Sonoma County FPOs’ wish you a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!



Now that we are into the winter months, whether it’s rain, fog, or early darkness, it is a good time for re­viewing winter defen­sive driving tech­niques:

See and Be Seen – Drive with your headlights on. It will double the distance others can see you. Always use your turn indicators. Make sure all of your vehicle lights are operational. Headlights should be on if your windshield wipers are on. Use low beams in the fog. If you have fog lamps, be sure they are aimed at the road. Change your windshield wiper blades if worn.

Tires and Traction Be sure you have the minimum tread depth of 2/32”. One method of checking is to insert a penny upside down into the tire. If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered, you should have adequate tread. Slow down when it is wet, foggy, icy, snowy, etc. Do not use cruise control on slippery roads.

You the Driver – Do not drive impaired. Do not drive distracted. You and your passen­gers should wear your seat belts. Adding 2 seconds to your following dis­tance will decrease your chances of being in an accident by 80%. If you increase it to 3 se­conds you decrease your acci­dent chances by 90%. If you have to pull off the road due to mechanical failure, pull as far off the road as is safe. Phone 1-800-427-ROAD (7623) or check the internet: 



The Bodega Volunteer Fire Department wants thank everyone for the support over the past year and wishes everyone a safe happy holiday season. Enjoy the New Year. If you are looking at giving back to your community in 2015 and live around Bodega think about becoming a support volunteer or a full volunteer firefighter. If you don’t have the time to support us please attend our fundraisers. We have our 2015 Fundraising events scheduled. Polenta and Beef stew dinner March 21st, Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival April 11-12th, Pancake Breakfast May 17th, Big Event BBQ August 2nd, Bodega Seafood Art and Wine Festival August 29-30th, Polenta and Beef stew Dinner October 3rd, Christmas Crafts Faire November 27-28th. Check our website for additional details. Fundraising is what funds a majority of our firefighting budget. We do receive some financial support, equipment and training from Sonoma County CSA40. Other funding for department comes from a membership program where anyone can join for $50 a year. We do not receive any tax revenue. With all our funding sources, we are able to maintain a 100% volunteer department. We again thank you for the support. 


Bodega Bay’s new paramedic ambulance was unveiled on December 9th. We thank everyone who braved the weather to attend the event. We wish to thank everyone that has donated to this great cause. The County, through Advertising Fund dollars, has donated $89,497. The Public has donated an additional $36,239.

Josh Menzies was recently hired to replace long time FF/Paramedic Tommy Goss. Bryan Tarrant’s replacement will be hired very soon. Bryan’s replacement will be announced next month.

Please go to or visit us at Facebook for the latest info. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and keep your safety and the safety of your family in mind for all of your winter activities. See you next year.



Heat It Up

Common sense can prevent a heater fire. All heating systems can start fires if not used and maintained properly. Heating your home during the colder months of the year can prove dangerous, if you do not follow a few simple safety precautions.

Check baseboard heaters often to remove objects that have fallen on top of or near the heater. Remember that any time objects like newspapers, furniture or blankets are close to heaters, a fire can start.

Portable heaters heat up rapidly and, like baseboard heaters, they can easily ignite any flammable item left nearby. Always turn portable heaters off if you leave the room or are going to fall asleep.

When you use your fireplace or wood stove to heat your home, keep the door and or fire screen shut to protect your home from sparks. Only burn dry seasoned wood, never rubbish. Garbage and green wood can cause a chimney fire. Remember to have your chimney inspected and serviced before each heating season and change the batteries in your smoke alarms too.



Christmas Tree Farm

Thank you to everyone who came to our fire station to get a Christmas tree and support our volunteers. For the fourth time, we also brought in Noble and Nordman Fir trees from a sustainable farm in Oregon... They were so popular, we sold out! In addition, hundreds of people cut down their own trees as well as sponsored seedlings to help us replant. Kids enjoyed searching the 5,000+ seedlings now planted throughout the farm to find their names from last year. A big “Thank You” to our tree farm manager, Heather O’Dell, her team, and all the volunteer firefighters for all of their hard work getting the tree farm looking so great. Most importantly, we appreciate your support to keep our tree farm sustainable. We look forward to seeing you next season!

Toy Drive... Another Success

The 2014 Toy Drive was a fantastic success, thank you! Graton Fire was able to deliver presents to over 40 children, brightening their holidays.  We wish everyone could experience the joy we see when the fire engine pulls up and delivers your presents...  once again, thank you. A tremendous thank you also needs to go out to Balletto Vineyards & Winery, Andy’s Produce, Graton Community Club, Sebastopol Hardware, Exchange Bank, and Graton Post Office for being toy collection points in addition to cash donations from a number of residents to our toy drive.