Rural Vacaville fire council gets certification as Firewise community


(File photo by Matthew Keys for Solano NewsNet)

The Pleasants Valley Fire Safe Council received official certification as a Firewise community this month, which will allow the group to apply for financial grants that will help fulfill certain wildfire risk abatement and readiness initiatives.

The announcement was made in a press release Tuesday, through which the Pleasants Valley Fire Safe Council said its application to become a Firewise community was formally approved by the state’s firefighting agency CAL FIRE and the National Fire Protection Association.

“There is much work that is yet to be completed — a certification often demonstrates a finish, but we are not finished,” David Stevens, the president of the Pleasants Valley Fire Safe Council, said in a statement.

The group was formed in response to the devastating LNU Lightning Complex wildfire that tore through portions of northwestern Solano County in August 2020. The wildfire, which was sparked by lightning and crossed into the county from the Napa area, destroyed hundreds of homes and killed two residents. It was also indirectly linked to the death of a Pacific Gas & Electric Company worker whose body was found in the wildfire burn zone.

A few months after the fire, citizens from rural parts of Vacaville came together to form the Pleasants Valley Fire Safe Council, named for the road that runs along the eastern side of Mount Vaca to Highway 128.

In order to gain official certification as a Firewise community, the council had to perform over 900 risk assessments on properties in the rural Solano County area, develop an action plan to minimize wildfire risks, and conduct educational outreach to homeowners and businesses in local wildfire-prone areas.

“We have barely started,” Steven said in a statement, noting that the council intends to continue conducting property risk assessments, advocate for community chipping programs and improve identification and access points for emergency vehicles, among other tasks.

The Pleasants Valley Fire Safe Council operates a social media profile on Band, where residents of rural Vacaville can join and participate in the group’s initiatives. It also maintains a Facebook page for users of that service. The group holds a public meeting at least once a month in person at the Cloth Carousel (150 Parker Street, Suite B) in Vacaville and simulcast on Zoom.

For more information on the Firewise community initiative, click or tap here.

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