As of May 14, 2022, the Cordelia Fire Protection District (CFPD) hit its goal of 400 inspections in the District before the fire season intensifies. We are still performing reinspections, and for the most part residents are diligently working at cleaning up their properties. We have a few more inspections in pockets that we have missed. We will pick up again in Fall. This was our first serious effort to conduct more thorough inspections while providing educational material and advice to residents. Inspections have been done over the years by both the CFPD and Cal Fire, but not at the level taken this year.
These inspections took many, many hours of volunteer work by a number of folks including CFPD and Green Valley Fire Safe Council (GVFSC) volunteers. The core team was:
Bill Peters (community volunteer and retired horticulturist) Chief Dave Carpenter (CFPD) Dennis Wells (GVFSC) Donald Morgan (GVFSC) Glen Langstaff (CFPD) Lisa Earle (GVFSC)
I wish to thank my colleagues for the selfless donation of time to support this effort for the greater good of our community.
This is not a one time effort, but something at which we will continue to work and to improve each year. Collectively we are seeking to make our community more fire hardened to provide our firefighters a chance at slowing fires down, saving more homes, and most importantly saving lives. Until you have inspected the sites of some of California’s worst fires in the last few years, it is impossible to overstate the importance of the above. The level of devastation and sorrow is hard to put into words.
If anyone has questions about how you can fire harden your home and/or property, or would like to request an inspection, please reach out to me or to the CFPD and we will be happy to assist. As larger fires happen in our general area, the CFPD will recommence its efforts to keep you informed through Nextdoor as in previous years. We understand the stress and anxiety you feel as fires occur, especially if evacuated. As such we will use our resources to keep you informed with the most accurate information possible from our State and County resources.
Cordelia Fire District crews responded to an incident in Rockville Park on March 30 for a bicyclist down on the unknown trail off the outer loop. Several members of the Cordelia Fire agency were assisting with clearing debris at the park when the call came in. The off-duty Cordelia firefighters worked with the park ranger and quickly found the patient who was experiencing numbness and tingling from the neck down. The crew stabilized the patient on scene until additional resources from several cooperating agencies arrived. Additional Cordelia Fire District personnel arrived with medic ambulance and CHP airlifted the patient out of the problem area to an accessible area to enable transfer to ground ambulance and transport to area hospital.
It’s been conveyed the individual will make a full recovery. Many thanks to all who supported the effort and responded to this incident. Cooperating agencies included Rockville Park ranger, CHP, Medic Ambulance, Fairfield Fire, Solano Sheriff, City of Fairfield public works.
During a recent fire hazard inspection a homeowner asked if they can clear vegetation and plants growing on either side of a stream that passes through their property. They were concerned with rumors that the County would fine people who did this. So they asked for our help in getting to the truth. This post summaries what we learned.
Speaking with the good folks at the Solano County of Public Works, they explained their role in keeping waterways and streams clear. Public Works takes responsibility for areas near or under bridges and roads. However, if a stream passes through your property, the County will not clear overgrown vegetation or flammable growth. Because it is on private property the County hopes and expects that the property owner will take care of this. This includes removing bushes, grasses, trees and such from either side of the stream, assuming both sides are on your property. There are no restrictions from doing so and no fines will be made because you are taking care of your property.
Above are a couple of pictures of a typical stream in GV overgrown with berry bushes, weeds, and other vegetation that become a fire hazard when they dry out. Yes, there actually is a stream under all that growth! In this case, the property owner will be clearing out his section of the stream and hauling the overgrowth away. Hopefully his good neighbors will join in the effort. Thank you neighbor!
There is a caveat to this. When you remove vegetation, you cannot toss it into the stream. You need to take this material away. This makes sense because if you toss it into the stream, you are only going to clog up the works downstream. Apparently the County sees this from time to time, especially after heavy rains like late last year. Also, you cannot toss in at any time materials such as chemicals, fertilizers and other nasty things into the stream as these will make their way into other bodies of water, killing fish, damaging native plants and causing a variety of issues. So there you have it. If you have a stream passing through your property, please proceed with responsibly clearing it, removing everything away from the water. You’ll receive the added benefit of reducing flooding by removing vegetation which could prevent the stream from flowing freely.
Hopefully this will be helpful to the surprising number of property owners in the District with streams flowing through their property.
The Cordelia Fire Protection District (CFPD) and Green Valley Fire Safety Council (GVFSC) now have a new message board under the Kiosk at Green Valley Road and Rockville Road that should be readable from your car when you stop at the intersection. It will have messages regarding upcoming inspections as well as other messages of interest to local residents. We added the sign to enhance our communications regarding current status of our activities in the area. We hope this will be helpful to our neighbors.
We will continue conducting fire hazard inspections in the Highlands on Saturday, January 29. As of last weekend, the CFPD and GVFSC had jointly performed a little over 100 LE-100 fire hazard inspections in Highlands starting at Amaral Ct. It was a rewarding experience because it provided an opportunity to meet many more residents of the District face-to-face while helping educate our neighbors.
Many informational packages on home hardening have been distributed along with lists of tree services local residents have recommended as good companies. The CFPD does not recommend any company but is happy to share District residents’ recommendations with others. Also distributed were colorful CAL FIRE refrigerator magnets that provide a quick reference for areas around the home to harden. If anyone in our District would like more of any of the informational materials we’re distributing, please message us on Nextdoor or contact the CFPD and we’ll get them to you.
We greatly appreciate the positive reception to the inspections and the willingness to learn new ways to fire harden homes and property. Many properties visited had already been receiving excellent attention by the owners. Congratulations and great job!! For those with more work to do, your openness to suggestions was appreciated.
If any of our District residents need to make improvements but cannot perform the work or readily afford an outside service, please contact either the GVFSC or CFPD. We are in the early stages of discussing how to set up “neighbors helping neighbors” for those who need a hand. We are all in this together and are considering ways to help each other.
We will be continuing inspections in the Highlands for the next several weeks before moving on to other areas in the District (we have many hundreds of properties to inspect in the District before we get too far into Spring. We will post in advance which areas on which days on the new bulletin board at the corner of Rockville and Green Valley as well as on social media.
Again, a big thank you to all the volunteers performing the inspections and many thanks to the residents of our District for all the hard work and your openness to our visits.
The Cordelia Fire Protection District (CFPD), in collaboration with the Green Valley Fire Safe Council, has started conducting LE-100 property fire hazard inspections in the Upper Green Valley area.
Inspections will start occurring weekly to allow us to work through as many properties as possible early enough to allow for improvements before the fire season starts in summer. Other areas will be visited as we move through winter and spring. We are doing this to help each resident and property owner improve the defensible space around homes before fire season. Please keep in mind that fire season is starting earlier than in years past. Our goal is to give homeowners time to make corrections to help fire harden homes and property.
A number of benefits come from this community-based activity:
Greater resistance to fire passing through your property and damaging / destroying your home.
Improved chances of controlling the spread of a structure fire from one property to another.
Contributing to the overall fire hardening of our neighborhoods, neighbors helping neighbors.
Potential home insurance benefits.
Piece of mind in knowing you have improved the level of protection on your property as this year’s fire season approaches.
If you live within the Cordelia Fire Protection District, trained inspectors may visit your property. They will request permission to inspect and provide recommendations for improvements.
Live, online records will be accessible to both the CFPD and CAL FIRE for improved fire fighting capabilities. Photos may be taken to document the level of fuel load and to support written recommendations for improvement. If you are visited, the Fire District respectfully requests and hopes you will allow the inspector(s) to walk around your home. Most inspections will take about 30 minutes, more for larger properties. You do not need to accompany the inspector(s), but you will be welcome to do so as this will permit live observations and suggestions. Some of the inspectors will be carrying ID cards or badges to confirm their identity and will generally work in groups to speed the process.
Working together, we can make our neighborhood a safer place for you and your neighbors. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Fire District at 707-864-0468 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last weekend we started inspections for property owners in our District, completing about 25 in the Green Valley Highlands with an initial focus on Glencannon and Brae Ct. We were joined by a 3-person engine company from CAL FIRE to assist with the inspections. Thank you CAL FIRE!
The vast majority of homeowners were very happy to receive this service and were very receptive to our team’s recommendations to make their properties more fire hardened. We were all impressed with the excellent work many residents are doing to fire harden their home and property. A lot of District and CAL FIRE educational material was handed out including lists of companies that have been recommended to the District by other Green Valley residents for doing good tree work and property clearing. Great work neighbors!!
Some residents we met expressed interest in joining this effort of neighbors helping neighbors to make their properties more fire resistant. All in all, a very positive experience.
We will be continuing inspections on Saturday, January 22 from 10am to 2pm, also in the Highlands, one of the areas of greatest need. We hope to post signage this week as to the areas that will be inspected and hope to continue this signage each week inspections are scheduled. We know not everyone reads notices on social media, so we are trying to reach as many residents as possible regarding this service.
If you do not want the Green Valley Fire Safe Council volunteers to inspect your property, please let us know so we can refer your inspection directly to the District Fire Chief for personal follow up. If you’d like to join us as we conduct an inspection and would like to schedule an approximate time to fit your schedule, please let us know that as well and we’ll work to accommodate your needs. Contact the District at (707) 864-0468 or email email@example.com
We greatly appreciate the acceptance of this service by our neighbors and the understanding that if one house burns, many houses burn. Working together to fire harden property in our area benefits all.
Cordelia Fire District crews performed a duck rescue operation when this curious little waterfowl fell into a drain pipe and couldn’t find its way out. The duck became trapped in a 6-foot drain pipe in a private reservoir pond off Rockville Road. The drain pipe has a 90 degree bend at the bottom with about a 150 foot pipe that empties into another area where the duck could escape. Unfortunately, the duck couldn’t see the escape route, and instead was trying to get back up the 6-foot vertical pipe, and wouldn’t move down to the connecting pipe to find the exit.
Cordelia Fire worked with the property owner to find a solution. To encourage the duck to move down the connecting pipe and out to freedom, the rescuers lowered a basketball into the pipe and then slowly flooded the pipe with water to gently nudge the duck along the escape route and out to safety.
Chief Dave Carpenter remarked that the duck was warmly greeted with a frenzy of quacking by the rest of the brood, who seemed genuinely concerned and grateful for their friend’s safe return.
Last Saturday a group of volunteer Ambassadors participated in continued training to conduct LE-100 Fire Hazard Inspections in the Cordelia Fire Protection District.
Home hardening is the number one defense we have against a major fire in our area. Preparing your home to resist flying embers and encroaching fire can produce a greater benefit than more fire fighters and engines. Whereas more fire fighters and engines are incredibly helpful, the best line of defense is taking responsibility for our properties and hardening them to help fire fighters defend our homes. Also, because fire fighting resources are limited, in the event of a major fire in the area there may not be enough fire fighters and equipment to protect everyone’s homes. As such, home hardening may be your ONLY line of defense.
The Fire District will start inspections in December when our area is not so dry, when the risk of clearing brush and grass and performing tree work is diminished. The Ambassadors will be conducting inspections on behalf of the Cordelia Fire Protection District and will pass on all inspection results to the District.
In addition to the inspections, they can also provide recommendations to help you harden your home beyond that required by code. If issues are found during an inspection, Ambassadors will work with you to provide sufficient time to address them. It is expected (and required by code) that any issues found will be corrected for the benefit of your property and that of your neighbors.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Cordelia Fire Protection District and we’ll do our best assist you.
The Daily Republic reported on the Solano County Civil Grand Jury’s report investigating the wildfire risk to county residents, and the response by Cordelia Fire Protection Discounty Board of Supervisors.
Today a great crew worked hard to continue the Station 29 site cleanup (next to old Falls School site on Rockville) started last year. Trees were removed to increase the fire break around the station, shrubs were cut back and pruned to improve the appearance and reduce fuel near the station, and volunteers pressure washed the living quarters prior to prepare for painting in the near future.
The team worked from 6:30am to past noon despite the heat and smoke. Many are not aware of this, but we are staffing the station on most nights now, but usually after dinner at Station 31 in Cordelia. We have high hopes that the Station 29 site will be the location of improvements at some point.
Many thanks to Father John’s crew who did tree cutting and branch removal, Napa Recycling for their assistance with dumpsters and trucks, the resident fire fighters who pitched in with everything, CFPD Board members who took time from their weekends to help, Chief Carpenter to assisted despite his long week, neighbors like Tom Giugni who volunteered with the clean up, GVLA for lunch for the team, and most importantly to Tim Senior who organized this entire effort and worked tirelessly to secure the donations of time and resources.
We have more to do including additional tree removal, painting, etc., and will be back at it perhaps later this year.
Cordelia Fire Protection District (CFPD) welcomed eight new volunteer resident firefighter recruits last week. CFPD company officers began training the new volunteers last week, with continued intensive trainings scheduled June 19th and 20th at Rockville Road Station #29, and in Rockville Heights. Fire Chief David Carpenter says this is good news for the local residents and businesses who rely on the district and partnering agencies to protect lives and property.
The District has grown its ranks in recent years, bringing on graduates of local fire academies as well as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) who wish to also train as firefighters. Since the majority of CFPD’s calls are for medical aid and other public assistance, the EMT component is critical for today’s firefighters. Additionally, as we enter fire season with most of the fire incidents involving wildland, CFPD implemented a new program offering EMT’s hands-on wildland fire fighting training. This expands the trainees’ career options while expanding the agency’s staffing abilities.
“As an autonomous agency, CFPD operates on a limited budget, and thus relies heavily on volunteer resident firefighters to carry out critical fire prevention and suppression duties as well as to deliver medical aid to our constituents,” Chief Carpenter said. “We’re grateful to all our volunteers for their service.”
The district is currently staffed by three full-time company officers, volunteer fire chief, an assistant fire chief, and 23 resident firefighters, plus the eight new recruits. While the resident firefighters are classified as volunteers, they commit to at least one 24-hour shift each week, and thus receive invaluable on the job training and experience.
“Our resident firefighters have successfully completed a fire academy and are training for a career position in the fire service. Our EMT recruits will be trained specifically in wildfire suppression. We are always training, both in the classroom and in the field. Those who join CFPD after graduating from an academy benefit from hands-on, real-world experience.”
Recruitment and consistent training is key to expanding the ranks at CFPD and enabling regular staffing of Station #29 on Rockville Road. Currently, Station #31 on Cordelia Road is staffed with one crew 24/7, and Station #29 is only staffed during times of high fire danger in the area. CFPD’s goal is to maintain 24/7 staffing at both stations, and to add crews especially in times of high fire danger. Full-time staffing of Station #29 will greatly improve response times for incidents in upper Green Valley.
Established in 1918, the Cordelia Fire Protection District is an agency that provides Fire and EMS service to the communities of Green Valley, Rockville, Cordelia, and Lower Suisun Valley. It is an autonomous District, governed by a five-member elected Board of Directors. The district has two stations covering 56 square miles of southern Solano County in California and is an active participant in local mutual and automatic-aid agreements with other agencies.