Napa Firewise, community groups collaborate for strengthened wildfire protection

Napa Valley Features By Dave Stoneberg
March 5, 2023

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. — A new collaborative effort is aimed at helping Napa County protect itself from the devastating wildfires it has seen in years past. Last May, less than three years after the destructive September 2020 Glass Fire, Cori Carlson, founder of Napa Pasture Protein, a family ranch located on Capell Valley Road in Napa, brought 500 sheep and goats to 97 acres bordering Highway 29 and Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.

According to a video posted by the Spring Mountain Fire Safe Council, Carlson estimated that it would take between 30 to 45 days to rid the properties of grasses, weeds and brush to create a fire-resistant property. In a recent interview, Carlson said the herd took 29 days to clear the land, working through about three acres a day. Funds from State Sen. Bill Dodd and private landowners paid for the work.

In the Napa Valley, 31 Fire Safe Councils are set up, and a few are seeking volunteer leaders. The Fire Safe Councils range from American Canyon in southern Napa County to the northernmost city, Calistoga, which is one of the larger councils, encompassing 34,732 acres, 4,026 structures and a population of 6,170. Piper Cole is the leader for the Calistoga Fire Safe Council.