Star Editorial: Maintaining a culture of fire readiness

Star Editorial Board Nov 15, 2023

Q: Given this week’s rain, and this summer’s lack of serious threat, when can St. Helenans put fire readiness on the back burner?

A: Never.

It’s easy to think of wildfire preparedness as a seasonal matter, just like fire season. But that mentality is so 2015. The last few years have taught us a hard truth: Between maintaining fuel breaks, hardening properties and structures, and pursuing funding, the work of improving Napa County’s fire resilience never stops.

Another hard truth: With rapid wind-borne ember cast, no community can be fireproof. We are all in this together.

In August this board spoke with Chris Warner, who volunteers for the St. Helena Fire Safe Council, about hyperlocal efforts to make St. Helena safer. We zoomed out our perspective last week, speaking in depth with two representatives of the nonprofit Napa Communities Firewise Foundation: CEO Joseph Nordlinger and board chair Christopher Thompson.