Calistoga FSC Appeal for Support Answered

As I’m sure you’re aware, the risk of wildfire and its devastating consequences to life, health, property, jobs, the economy and even County revenue is a major concern to our entire County. In Calistoga, many of us have had to evacuate our homes 3 times in the last 5 years, often for as long as 2 weeks, or longer if our properties were destroyed.

Wildfire risk is one of the few natural disasters that can actually be reduced by human intervention: you can remove fuel (vegetation), which is one of the 3 elements that causes wildfires. That is what Napa Firewise is doing: removing fuel and educating and enabling Napa County residents to remove fuel around their homes. We’re doing this using the Countywide Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), which was developed through a lengthy and inclusive process and approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2021, as a roadmap.

This reduction of wildfire risk is not just an opportunity for the County, it’s an obligation for the health and safety of all County residents. That’s why it is so disheartening to see that the Board of Supervisors is considering reducing its investment in this area by 44%, while increasing its overall budget by 10%. This sends a very bad message to Napa County residents, as well as to the insurers, who are already hesitant to write new policies for homes in the County.

Wildfire risk reduction is one of the highest priorities in Napa County, and the best way to show that is the allocation of budget dollars on an ongoing basis to this important effort. And there is no better steward of these funds than Napa Firewise. Through a very lean staff and hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of volunteer time from its highly experienced and dedicated Board and FSC leadership, these funds are managed efficiently and cost-effectively to get visible and significant results. And Napa Firewise not only puts these funds to good use, but leverages them to get additional funds brought to this effort through grants and resident cost share programs. 

Please do not de-fund this extraordinary effort and send the message to your residents, voters and taxpayers that you don’t value their lives, properties and efforts. Take a strong stand to reduce wildfire risk!

Thank you,

Piper Cole