This dashing lime green fire truck from Marin County's rural Hicks Valley station on the border of Marin and Sonoma Counties, bolstered firefighters from Point Reyes Station for a pre-Fourth of-July roadside session with hose and blasts of water, teaching impressionable local youngsters the vital importance and basics of fire prevention.
As we approach peak fire season The National Weather Service has been busy issuing Red Flag Warnings & Fire Weather Watches altering fire departments of the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity, as we've seen in neighboring Napa County this past week.
CAL FIRE is urging extreme caution during California's drought emergency. It takes hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to control a large wildfire. From July 1st, 2014, CAL FIRE Chief Ken Pimlott ordered a ban on open burning throughout the 31 million acres of state responsibility area protected by CAL FIRE due to the elevated threat of wildfire caused by the drought emergency.
“The drought has increased the threat of wildfire in California,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE. “We are urging the public to celebrate our nation’s independence by attending a professional fireworks display. For those who choose to use fireworks to celebrate, make sure fireworks are allowed in the area of use and follow all safety precautions. You don’t want to ruin your celebration by becoming financially responsible for a fire caused by your activities.”
California has a zero tolerance for the sale and use of illegal fireworks. Illegal fireworks include sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner. It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as possess or use any fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000 as well as sent to jail for up
A Red Flag Warning is issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours. A Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions could exist in the next 12-72 hours. A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire. A Fire Weather Watch is one level below a warning, but fire danger is still high.
A pit-stop in Point Reyes Station is one of my favorites, when roaming the road less traveled, out West. Yet summer season sees these backroads packed with cyclists and highway one motorists, oyster lovers, National Seashore visitors as well as those fortunate folk with weekend homes along the coast and Tomales Bay. Population on a holiday week afternoon in July swells from winter month population of 818 to several thousand at any one time.
The original Bovine Bakery is hub of the Station, as is Toby's Feedbarn (below). It's hard to beat a baked goodie and a coffee at the Bovine, except for at its sister store in Petaluma!
If you're visiting the area and plan on a drive to Petaluma from Point Reyes Station or the other way around, map a detour via Hicks Valley to take in the 'Big View' on Wilson Hill Road. Breathtaking at any time of the year.