News

UPCOMING 2016 Wildfire Safety Fair -- Saturday April 30, 2016

    Learn how to protect your family, home, and property from wildfires at the Ojai Valley Wildfire Safety Fair on Saturday, April 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Sarzotti Park. Meet Smokey the Bear, Robby the 10-foot-tall fireman, and most of Ventura County’s First Responders at an event designed to delight the whole family. You’ll enjoy live music, food by Vegan Mario cavort in our Kids’ Fun Zone, and enter to win dozens of free raffle prizes simply by learning about wildfire prevention and safety.

2014 Wildfire Safety Fair -- Saturday, April 12

    Food, fun, and wildfire safety for the whole family at Sarzotti Park

    Ojai, CA—Learn how to protect your family, home, and property from wildfires at the Ojai Valley Wildfire Safety Fair on Saturday, April 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Sarzotti Park. Meet Smokey the Bear, Robby the 10-foot-tall fireman, and most of Ventura County’s First Responders at an event designed to delight the whole family. You’ll enjoy live music by Alan Thornhill and Martin Young, food by Rock Chef Rolls (the people who put the “epic” in “epicurean”), cavort in our Kids’ Fun Zone, and enter to win dozens of free raffle prizes simply by learning about wildfire prevention and safety. Prizes include free brush clearing, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and other safety-related items, plus restaurant meals, haircuts—even a backyard composter!—from generous local merchants.

    “The Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council wants to be sure Ojai residents are prepared in the event of a wildfire,” says grants manager Will Castagna. Bill Nash, Ventura County Fire Department’s public information officer, pointed out that “the drought has made conditions extremely dangerous for wildfires year-round, and the Wildfire Safety Fair is a fun way to learn what you need to do to protect your family, home, and pets, and to meet the people available to help.”

    Confirmed Fair participants include the Ventura County Fire Department, the Ojai Police Department, the Ojai Sheriff’s Department, Ventura County Health Department, CERT (our local Community Emergency Response Team), Ventura County Search & Rescue, Ventura County Animal Control, the Humane Society (because animals need a plan too), the US Forest Service, The CREW (a local nonprofit that employs youth to perform brush clearance throughout the valley), Ojai Community Hospital, and the Red Cross.

    The Fair is presented by the Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council and is a free event, thanks to a National Fire Plan grant from the cooperative fire program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council.

    For more information on wildfire safety, visit www.firesafeojai.org. For additional information about the Wildfire Safety Fair, contact Will Castagna, (805) 646-7307.

Wildfire Safety at Your Fingertips

Wildfire Safety tab insert for Ojai Valley Directory
    • April 30, 2012 -- Thanks to a grant from the State Farm Companies Foundation, along with an in-kind contribution from the Ojai Valley Directory itself, the Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council has just completed work on a new "Wildfire Safety" tab that will be published in the upcoming edition of the Ojai Valley Directory.
    • Will Castagna from the Fire Safe Council said, "State Farm's generosity, along with Ren and Victoria Adam's support has helped us again this year to embody our mission of Wildfire Safety through Education and Action."  The Wildfire Safety tab provides residents with a critical reference document that's available even if phone, internet and other resources are offline -- information about how to keep their home and family safe.
    • This year's design has been simplified to provide key information needed during a wildfire event, along with radio frequencies, phone numbers and websites to reference for additional information.  The back side of the tab provides a Family Safety Plan that can be filled out and placed on the fridge or stored in the family's emergency supplies kit. The Family Safety Plan is designed to provide designated meeting places, phone numbers and other information family members will want to have in an emergency.

Neighborhood Wildfire Safety Presentation Schedule

Bill Nash talking about Ready, Set, Go!
    • The Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council has completed conducting our 18 neighborhood Wildfire Safety Education Presentations in and around the Ojai Valley.  Our next two education projects will be students and ranchers, farmers and landscape professionals coming up soon.

                  Already Completed:

    • March 6: Fairview Area, held at Camp Ramah
    • March 13: Old Creek Rd Area, held at Old Creek Ranch Winery
    • March 20: Del Oro/Hermosa St Area held at Private Home
    • March 27: Upper Ojai/Sulphur Rd Area, held at Stagecoach Station Store, 12679 Santa Paula Ojai Rd.
    • April 3: Encino Dr./Upper Creek Rd Area, held at Private Home
    • April 10: Krotonia/Taromina Area, held at Mesa Area of Taromina Circle
    • April 17: Upper Ojai/Summit Area, held at Stagecoach Station Store, 12679 Santa Paula Ojai Rd.
    • April 24: Maricopa Hwy/Meiners Oaks Area, held at Ojai Valley Estates Mobile Home Park, Clubhouse
    • May 1: Topa Topa Elementary School Area, help at: 916 Mountainview
    • May 8: Upper Foothill Area, held at: Casa Barranca, 1330 Foothill Rd.
    • May 15: Daly Rd/N Montgomery St. held at: The Gables, 701 N Montgomery St.
    • May 22: Drown/Grand Area, held at: White Oak Circle Park
    • May 29: Canada St. Signal Area, held at: Glen Muse Property 815 Libbey St.
    • June 5: Rancho Matilija Area, held at: The Barn at Ranch Rd. & Shokat
    • June 12: Foster Park Area, held at Foster Residence Campground
    • June 19: Upper Ojai Happy Valley, held at Stagecoach Station Store
    • June 26: N Signal St. held at 220 France Circle
    • July 3: Besant Meadows held at St. Thomas Aquinas Church

Wildfire Safety Fair Educates Hundreds

  • The Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council put on its 2012 Wildfire Safety Fair at Sarzotti Park on Saturday, partnering with many local safety agencies to provide education and information on how to keep your home and family safe from wildfire.  Nearly 300 people participated by talking with and learning from the true local heroes of the Ojai Valley.
  • A dozen local merchants generously provided over $500 worth of prizes for the free raffle, and many happy attendees went home with prizes.
  • Will Castagna, Grants Manager for the Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council, said "Wildfire safety education, combined with some simple actions by Valley residents, will be what makes the difference between homes lost and homes saved in a wildfire.  Providing that education in a fun and engaging environment is what the Wildfire Safety Fair is all about."
  • Smokey the Bear and Robby the 10-foot tall Firefighter both posed with excited fans for pictures, while Alan Thornhill and Martin Young set an up-tempo tone with music that perfectly complemented the pleasant breeze and sunny weather.  The children took breaks from learning about wildfire safety by climbing, sliding and bouncing on the inflated magic castle, and everyone enjoyed the food provided by Pony Baseball's Dugout.
  • Local vendors gave live demonstrations of fire safety equipment, and safety agencies showed their firefighting vehicles and other safety-related official vehicles.  Organizations represented included Ventura County Fire, US Forest Service, Ojai Police, C.R.E.W., Red Cross, Search & Rescue, Humane Society, Animal Control, Ojai Hospital, Public Health and the Land Conservancy.  Event sponsor Bob Daddi provided insurance coverage for the event through his State Farm Insurance office.
  • The Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to wildfire safety through education and action.  Funding for this project was provided by a National Fire Plan grant from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council.  For more information, call (805) 646-7307, eMail info@firesafeojai.org..

Neighborhood wildfire safety education project launched

Wildfire Safety Education
  • Taking a cue from Supervisor Steve Bennet's neighborhood-based community initiative, the Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council is bringing wildfire safety education to your doorstep.  On Tuesday evenings, they'll be turning up in neighborhoods all around the Ojai Valley with an educational road show  based on the Ready, Set Go! program designed by County Fire Chief Bob Roper.  The program includes fire trucks, firefighters, a slide presentation, and an opportunity for residents to ask questions and talk directly with safety officers.
  • Bill Nash, Public Information Officer for the Ventura County Fire Dept. said, "Wildfire is a big risk factor in the Ojai Valley area, so we are always happy to help get the word out about wildfire safety."  The Fire Safe Council will be doing 18 of these neighborhood presentations over the next few months.  So if you see a fire engine parked down the street in your neighborhood, it just might be an educational opportunity for you and your family.
  • Will Castagna from the Fire Safe Council said, "This is a great opportunity for residents to quickly learn what they need to know to keep their home and family safe."  He continued, "We wanted to let people know we're coming, so volunteers will be dropping 'invitation and education' packets on the doorsteps of homes in each neighborhood near the end of each week."
  • For information on these events, please contact Will Castagna, Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council, 805-646-7307.
  • Funding for this project is provided by a National Fire Plan grant from the cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council.