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Aircraft would be front line in fighting wildfire

Aircraft would be front line in fighting wildfire

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Last week there was a brief article in the Napa Register describing what we are trying to do; bring additional assets to our area to attack wildfires at the most effective time — when they first start (“Napa County group proposes quick response, wildfire-fighting planes,” March 28).

These aircraft and their use in firefighting are not new to Cal Fire. The Fire Boss is successfully used in many other states and countries. They are contracted by the USFS and BLM, but not Cal Fire. I think that we all might agree that something new needs to be tried to protect our homes, lives, property, and economy.

Because we still have some details to work out, our fundraising has been stalled. We were warned that this project might be an impossible task. Us vs. Cal Fire, set in their ways. Yes, we need to raise $1.5 million to get two aircraft based locally for six months. We expect Cal Fire to pay the operational, hourly costs, and deploy them on the initial attack in Napa County as well as Lake, Sonoma, Solano, and Marin counties. Out-of-county smoke can be as destructive to our industry as Napa’s own estate smoke.

At this point, I am only able to ask for your pledges, but cannot yet receive your money. We are hoping that the Angwin Volunteer Fire Department will be the 501c3 to accept checks. However, that is not in place yet, because Cal Fire, still has not given us their official blessing. The Napa County Board of Supervisors must also be involved.

So, $1.5 million is our goal. Yes, it is a lot of money, but think about what we have lost from the past fires. If we try nothing new, we will learn nothing. Please send me an email, indicating what you will donate. Confidential, tax-deductible. Thank you all. I will also answer any questions that you may have.

Randy Dunn

Howell Mountain


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