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Firefighter News -December 2016


Firefighter News - December 2016

Holiday Fire Safety

Here are a few simple fire safety tips can prevent a tragedy and help ensure a happy and safe holiday.

Christmas Trees. If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, keep the tree watered. Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Well-­watered trees are not a problem; however, a dry and neglected tree can be.  

Selecting a Tree for the Holidays. Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, it’s a sign that the tree was cut long ago and is a fire hazard. 

Caring for Your Tree. Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame  or sparks. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times. 

Disposing of Your Tree. Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-­burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-­up service. 

Maintain Your Holiday Lights. Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. 

Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch. 

Avoid Using Lit Candles. If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning. Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree.


Based on the recommendations of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Fire Services Ad Hoc Committee, the Bodega Bay Fire Protection District began a collaborative study to determine the options available to achieve the Ad Hoc Committee’s goals.

The Committee’s goals include improved 24/7 All Risk Coverage, improved Response Time, and operational Redundancy. To achieve those goals, the Committee asked the neighboring districts and agencies to explore collaboration and consolidation. Begun at a time when resources were short and some providers were threatened by a shortage of volunteers and/or funding, the Committee looked to improve the safety net by making it more efficient and manageable. 

BBFPD’s goal is to work with our neighbors – all of whom share common interests defined by both geography and community needs -- and all of whom faces the same challenges:

1. Sonoma County’s beneficial land use policies remove many parcels from the tax rolls; there is not a sufficient tax base to pay for the safety net services the area demands; and, 

2. The area draws more than 4 million tourist visits a year; those visitors receive the vast bulk of the services the agencies provide.

Because we share common needs and suffer the impact of the county’s land use and tourism policies, we have been looking for collaboration and potential consolidation with our adjoining neighbors.

This is about the Coastal residents and visitors – and their safety needs. This is not about local politics, agency posturing or building an empire. We will collectively find a way to cooperate and govern our enterprise; that’s a given. We all need to focus on what those safety net needs are and how we can work together to meet them.

We have met with members of the Boards and Fire Chiefs of all our neighbors and soon hope to meet with the staff, volunteers, and residents of the adjoining communities. We’d like to have an agreed-upon-plan in place to present to the County in the first quarter of 2017.

BBFPD’s fire boat has returned to service following a recent upgrade to install a bow mounted, remote operated water cannon. This improvement will allow the fire boat to provide fire attack and defensive streams in the event of a variety of marine based fires such as vessel, dock and water front areas.


Toy Drive

The Forestville Firefighter’s Association will be collecting toys for the Holidays starting now through Christmas. Donations will go to the Forestville Giving Tree Program, Methodist Church as well as the Toys for Tots program. Your new and unwrapped gifts may be dropped off at the Forestville Fire Station. Recalled or used toys cannot be accepted.

Winter Burn Suspension Lifted

On Monday Monday 24, 2016, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit lifted the burn suspension within the state responsibility area (SRA) in Sonoma, Lake and Napa Counties. Please check with your local fire authority for burn permit regulations.

Chimney Safety

The fall/winter season is upon us and we will soon see smoke plumes rising from chimneys. Each year your local fire department responds to several chimney fires that could have been prevented. Do you know the last time your chimney was cleaned? How much wood has been burned since then? What is the general condition of the chimney? Looking up the flue isn’t enough; have a trained professional take care of it. The cost to have your chimney cleaned and inspected is minimal compared to the damage done by a chimney fire and efforts by your local fire department to control it. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, heating-related fires are the second leading cause of fires in residential dwellings, with chimney and flue fires accounting for 86 percent of heating fires.


Graton Fire Christmas Tree Farm – Thu-Sun 9-5 

Yes! We are open for our 11th season! There are acres of pine, fir, and spruce trees to choose. For those who love Noble and Nordmann firs, we have pre-cut trees from a sustainable farm in Oregon. Most importantly, they are being kept in water to preserve them for you. The tree farm is open Thursday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm and all sales support the fire department. Trees are being sold by height, regardless of the type of tree. Pull saws and measuring sticks are available as well as help to cut, carry, trim, and net your tree. There are fire badges for the kids and cider and candy canes for all! If you have further questions, please call Heather, 322-2091. Thank you for supporting Graton Fire.

Blood Drive: Thu 12/8, 2pm-4pm

Come by the “Bucket Brigade” and donate blood alongside your volunteer firefighters! Everyone will receive a 10% discount on your choice of from our Christmas Tree Farm.

Toy Drive Deadline: 12/22

Our annual toy drive continues through Thursday, December 22nd. Each year, Graton volunteer firefighters work with Oak Grove School and local charities to determine needy families in our district. This holiday season, we are collecting new, unwrapped toys for over 30 children up to age 12. We will also accept cash donations, wrapping paper, tape... whatever you can spare. Items can be dropped off at:

• Graton Fire Station (best after 6pm or if you see cars in front)

• Graton Fire Christmas Tree Farm (Thu-Sun, 9-5)

• Graton Post Office

• Andy’s Produce Market

• Bridgeway Gas (Hwy 116 & Green Valley Rd)

• Graton Community Club (during Santa’s visit on Sun 12/11)

Thank you to everyone who donated last year and helped make Christmas a reality other families. We look forward to your support again this year. Questions? Call 823-8400 ext. 120.


Russian River Fire District will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for River to Coast Children’s Services this holiday season. Toys will be accepted at the fire station through December 22nd.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors will be on December 14th at 6pm at the fire station. We hope you’ll consider attending.


Annual Crab Feed Fundraiser Dec. 4, 2016 11 am- - 4 pm
Valley Ford Schoolhouse 14355 School St. Valley Ford, CA

The crab feed is back! Come out the the Valley Ford Schoolhouse and support the Valley Ford Volunteer Fire Department at our Annual Crab Feed. All you can eat crab, pasta, salad and bread! Enjoy beverages, beer and wine!

Adults (13+) - $40
Children (5-12) - $20
Tickets can be purchased at Valley Ford Market, Valley Ford Post Office

Mailing a request to the Valley Ford Fire Department
(PO BOX 327 Valley Ford, CA 94972)
Or now online!