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frustrated Napa residents are taking wildfire protection into their own hands

Many residents and businesses are frustrated with existing firefighting resources and are speaking up about the need to mount their own fire defenses.

Milliken has made a number of new investments to protect Spottswoode, such as installing special vents on buildings that will seal up to ward off embers. Wineries like Silver Oak and Castello di Amorosa, meanwhile, are giving their staffs firefighting training. The county’s leading wine-industry groups have asked the county to consider severing its contract with Cal Fire and form its own fire department instead.

And rather than rely solely on Cal Fire helicopters, which must be shared throughout the state, some county residents want to purchase aircraft to fight fires only in Napa, cost be damned. One winemaker offered to arrange for two firefighting airplanes for Napa County for the upcoming season; another resident has proposed bringing in Black Hawk helicopters at his own expense, a cost of $2 million.


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