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Photos: CAL FIRE opens $2M satellite station

The Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit location has things the old station lacked — a restroom, an office and two bays instead of one for fire engines and equipment

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Photo/CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit

By Barry Eberling
Napa Valley Register

NAPA, Calif. — Napa County’s rural Carneros region finally has a bigger, better fire station located in an area southwest of the city of Napa that has had some high-profile emergencies.

This is the area where the 2017 Partrick Fire raged. Busy Highway 12/121 linking Napa and Sonoma counties has had some road-shutting accidents requiring fire department response.

No longer will firefighters use what looks like a small metal shed for a station. The new $2 million, 1,900-square-foot station is also basic, but has things the old station lacked — two bays instead of one for fire engines and equipment, as well as an office and a restroom.

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“It’s a beautiful station,” said Michael Marcucci, who is both county fire chief and unit chief of the CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit.

The county on Wednesday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new station, which is at 5260 Old Sonoma Rd. a short distance from the old one.

This is an area that is both busy and sleepy. The new station is near Carneros Resort and Spa and the traffic of Highway 12. It’s also near rolling hills with vineyards. Next door is a pasture.

“We have the cows here to keep us company,” Marcucci said as several wandered a short distance away.

Volunteer firefighters won’t stay at the new station at all hours. Rather, they will go there during an emergency to get a fire truck and equipment.

This new station for the Carneros Volunteer Fire Department is a satellite station. Another station is located a few miles away along Milton Road at Edgerly Island, where levees hold back the waters of the Napa River.

The 2007-08 grand jury noted that the Edgerly Island station is on the western boundary of the service area, rather than centrally located. Also, most volunteers lived in the Browns Valley region, resulting in long drives to the station and slower emergency response times.

But having a Carneros satellite fire station located in the metal shed didn’t prove to be the ideal solution. County officials for years have wanted something better. A failed idea in 2008 was for the county and city of Napa to build a combined Browns Valley station.

The new station came about when the Carneros Resort and Spa needed a new water supply and wanted to make other changes. The resulting deal with the county included having the resort provide a site for the new, replacement satellite station.

Napa County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Belia Ramos was among the speakers during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This is our third fire station we have opened in five years,” Ramos said. “That is a great success and it’s also a reflection of our commitment to giving the highest level of public safety service to our residents.”

The other two county stations opened in recent years are at Berryessa Highlands and Berryessa Estates near Lake Berryessa.

Also speaking during Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony were Supervisor Joelle Gallagher, Deputy Fire Chief Jason Martin and Public Works Director Steven Lederer.

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