Please scroll down for lots more exciting information and events.
To have firefighters on site at the Fiddletown Fire Station. We need to upgrade the station to include living quarters. All donations will be matched by Rotary.
All funds donated to this fundraiser will be separated from any FCC Funds
You can use the PayPal button below or you can mail your checks to Fiddletown Community Center, Fix the Firehouse Fund, PO Box 236, Fiddletown CA 95629
Rotary and the Community Making It Happen....and YOU!
The Firehouse Project is moving forward! If we can raise $2,000, the Passport to Rotary and Plymouth-Foothill Rotary Clubs, in coordination with Rotary International, can turn that into $9,000. We already have $850 committed (thank you neighbors!). We are still working out the details, but if you can chip in, any and all amounts make a difference. Contact Deirdre Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-418-5707.
AND local Amador volunteers who work with Habitat for Humanity are galvanizing to build out the project!
WHY fix up the firehouse? If we create sleeping quarters inside our existing station, volunteer firemen will be able to staff it providing local fire protection, which reduces our wildfire risk, and possibly lowers insurance rates
We are halfway there!
Questions? Please contact Deirdre Mueller at 209-418-5707 or by email.
YOU are making a difference to this community’s ability to weather wildfires! Thank you
AFPD has partnered with the Pioneer Fire Protection District to provide a volunteer firefighter for Fiddletown three days a week: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting July 3rd. Staffing is focused on weekends when, according to Chief Walt White, most house fires occur due to an increase in barbecues and outside activities. When we complete construction of the shower in the firehouse, AFPD will provide us with 24-hour staffing seven days a week (thank you for your donations!).
Stop by and say "hello" to our new firefighters. (If you don't see them there, they are probably out on a training exercise or battling a fire, so stop back again.)
Longtime volunteer Battalion Chief Antonio Moreno is no longer serving with AFPD. He is much loved and we honor his many years of service to our community. We wish him the best.
Coming Soon Watch for a virtual presentation by ETA and ACART discussing what you can do to prepare for evacuation and fire, what to expect if evacuation, and how to keep your four-legged loved ones safe.
Coming soon! Live demonstration of the Cal Fire mobile command center used to coordinate deployment of Cal Fire resources, which respond to wildfires, and Amador Fire, which responds to house and structure fires.
The biggest problem firefighters have in our rural area is finding WATER. "We spend most of our time running around looking for water supplies," says Cal Fire's Jeff Hakala.
Our solution: Let's provide a map of ponds, pools, water tanks, etc. on local properties which could be available to our Fire Responders during fires.
We'll send out a survey soon!
Our firefighters need this! If you have a tank, pond, or pool on your property, please send us your information to be added to a water supply map. All amounts are important!
Please send us your address, gallons, and if accessible from a road or driveway.
For questions or to submit information, contact Sue Wilson at 209-245-6523 or email@example.com
FUNDING available for brush clearing along roads in the Fiddletown area
Priority given to non-county roads (e.g., private homeowners associations). A few applications in our area are currently under review; Caroline Goddard is working with the Amador Fire Safe Council to evaluate them. If you have a project in mind, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
The Aukum Fairplay Fire Safe Council has adopted the Fiddletown properties that are in El Dorado County into their Fire Safe Council. This enables those Fiddletown owners to participate in El Dorado County funding opportunities, including $1,000 grants for senior and veterans for land clearing and home hardening.
Please contact John Hess at email@example.com for more information.
The GMRS radio project is moving forward with help from both the Amador and El Dorado Amateur Radio Clubs.
We hope to be able to provide a demonstration soon.
In June, engineers and volunteers led by Joe Pistritto from the Amador Amateur Radio Club, and Bob Hess from the El Dorado Amateur Radio Club, began engineering a GMRS* system to provide our community with a communication alternative in the event of a fire. The system requires repeaters (think antennas) that can "repeat" the signal between towers, greatly expanding the reception area. One potential site for a central repeater was identified, and they are returning soon to confirm use of that location and to seek additional sites.
We can communicate, before first responders respond
If we all own the correct radios, this system can act as a long distance walkie-talkie, enabling everyone to hear at the same time AND serve as an emergency paging system. Using this system, you get notice of a local fire long before Sheriffs could ever begin an evacuation, and continue to get information even if cell towers go down.
Here is how it works: Imagine you are woken in the night by a special page on your radio. You turn up the volume and hear a neighbor reporting a live fire. You can instantly hear neighbors reporting where they see flames and locations, and who is passing this information to first responders. As you get your Go Bag and put your pets in the car, you listen to find out which roads are open, report that your road is clear, and ask if a neighbor at a location needs your assistance.
What to get, how to get it, and cost
To make the paging part of the system work we need to buy commercial models and get a FCC license:
When the system is ready to "go live" we will provide you information on how to purchase a radio and get a license.
*What is GMRS?
General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a licensed radio service that uses channels around 462 MHz and 467 MHz. The most common use of GMRS channels is for short-distance, two-way voice communications using hand-held radios, mobile radios and repeater systems.
"Home hardening" refers to the things we can do with our structures to prevent them from burning down when there is a wildfire. Research shows that there are a few simple steps we can take to make our homes much safer. Here is some advice from various Fire Safe resources. (Note: Doing these things can and do help, but this tutorial is for advice only, we personally cannot guarantee it.)
Let's start by watching a couple of videos. This one is very detailed and shows a scientific experiment of how homes burn and do not burn from flying embers. It is from the National Fire Protection Association and is called "Your Home Can Survive a Wildfire." https://youtu.be/vL_syp1ZScM
This one is short and sweet and from the National Interagency Fire Center:
This is much easier than you thought, isn't it?
Here are 5 things you can do right now, along with a few product suggestions:
All of our vents, those that go into our attics and cellars need to have 1/8 inch or tighter screen.
Vulcan Vents (available through Meeks) are the gold standard if you can afford them. If an ember hits the screen, the screen will fuse to close off any entry into your home. https://www.vulcantechnologies.com/products.php
We just bought a simple vent from Home Depot. It has slats in the front which prevent ember flow, and also has 1/8 inch screen on the back. We will be putting another layer of metal screen behind that for extra protection. These units only cost a couple of dollars. (Home Depot is still delivering.)
Have metal gutters and keep them free of debris that could catch fire.
Byers Leaf Guard is the best, but again, it is pricey. The manufacturer says they will not clog, and if they do, they will clean it out. https://thatsbyers.com/leafguard
Micro Mesh Gutter Guard can be installed on your existing metal gutters to keep pine needles and debris out. These are available at Home Depot and Lowes. vhttps://www.gutterglove.com/
(To simplify things, we are just going to take off the two gutters we really don't need.)
Cover your vertical vent pipes with a metal screen (not just an open cap)
Remove all lawn growing next to your house for 5 feet of your house.
Install a "rock mulch" or gravel or tiles or cement board along the edge of the house for at least 18 inches, and more is better. Keep dry dead leaves cleared from any greenery next to your home, and make sure your greenery does not ignite easily.
Harden your decks!
Remove all items under your deck. Lattice is especially dangerous; put metal screen behind your lattice or just get rid of it. If you have a low deck, consider putting metal sheeting all around the base of it.
Here is another excellent resource on Home Hardening from Fire Safe Marin. https://www.firesafemarin.org/home-hardening
What can you expect in an emergency evacuation? (No, first responders will not knock on your door!) FEMA trained Kayla Dale with the Amador County Fire Protection District shows us how to prepare and practice in case we ever need to evacuate.
Sue Wilson 209-245-6523
Caroline Goddard 209-245-3179
Deirdre Mueller 209-418-5707