Neighbors speak out on fire safe roads and impacts to community

Tuesday, August 4 Board of Supervisors Hearing on Fire “Safety” Ordinance that Endangers Residents and Firefighters.


As noted last week, the supervisors will consider adopting a Fire “Safety” Ordinance on Tuesday, August 4, at 2 pm.  Attached is the agenda (Item 40) with directions on how you can participate. Briefly, you can:

  1. email a comment to (include your name, Fire “Safety” Ordinance, and agenda number 40)
  2. record a comment up to one minute by calling 707-691-0174 by 5 pm Monday, August 3 (include your name, Fire “Safety” Ordinance, and agenda number 40)
  3. Join the Zoom Meeting by computer or other device. enter Password: 397774 where you can comment live
  4. Participate by phone: Dial +1 (669) 900 9128; Enter meeting ID: 914 9519 6414; Enter password: 397774

The proposed ordinance, which is being revised because the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection refused to certify the previous version, excludes from Cal Fire’s regulations all existing roads in the State Responsibility Area (all of Bennett Valley and essentially all of rural Sonoma County).

The Cal Fire rules require roads that access any development to provide concurrent fire engine access and civilian evacuation. This protects firefighters and residents from being trapped by wildland fires and avoids situations like the fire at Paradise in November 2018 where cars clogged narrow roads and trapped people died.

We discovered this issue because the county is improperly issuing commercial cannabis permits in Bennett Valley on dead-end roads that are too long and only 10-12 feet wide. Concurrent fire engine access and civilian evacuation is impossible. But this ordinance has much broader implications for public safety in a county that is now recognized as among the most fire-prone in California.

Take a few minutes to register your opposition.  Sometimes the supervisors listen.

name withheld for privacy