The Cachagua Fire Protection District and the Cachagua Fire Association share the mission to provide wildland and structure fire suppression and emergency medical services to the rural and mountainous areas at the eastern end of Carmel Valley, known as the Cachagua area. These services have been provided since the late 1970s, first by the all-volunteer Cachagua Fire Company and then the CFPD which was created in 1993 at the request of community residents. Today there are two separate organizations. This request is on behalf of the Cachagua Fire Association (CFA) which is the current name of the original Cachagua Fire Company. It contains the volunteers who respond to fire and medical emergencies in the Cachagua area. The district receives funding from the county to support the activities of the CFA. It has an annual budget of about $170K. The CFA does not currently have a budget. They receive revenue from donations and the sale of apparel. The association is in the process of reorganizing its financial management which will include an annual budget. But its mission of fire supression and emergency medical services remains the same.
The purchase of a new/lightly used Type 6 fire engine is long overdue. The current Type 6 vehicle is more than 20 years old, too small for its mission, underpowered and overloaded, more than 107,000 hard miles and leaking oil. Type 6 fire engines are initial attack wildland engines. They are widely used in wildland urban interface fire response because of their versatility, maneuverability, off-road abilities, and fire suppression capabilities. They are built on a pickup truck frame with a medium duty chassis. They require a minimum crew of 2. Obtaining a modern, capable engine for Cachagua Fire is a high priority and the first step in reorienting our current vehicle assets to the reality of today’s environment. The probability of another wildland fire in the Cachagua area is high and real. A replacement Type 6 gives the community a powerful resource in terms of response and protection.
July 23, 2023 Dear Monterey County Gives: I live on Sky Ranch Road, atop Tularcitos Ridge in Upper Carmel Valley, known locally as Cachagua. When the Carmel Fire erupted a mile from my street, it happened so fast the Monterey County Sheriff’s Department couldn’t get here in time to evacuate us. The first responders, the only responders, were the volunteer women and men who belong to Cachagua Fire. These volunteers are my neighbors, whose homes were also in the fire’s path when they rushed to defend ours. In total, 17 of the 34 homes on my street were saved – including mine. The rest, sadly, were burned. CALFIRE and outside agencies eventually joined Cachagua Fire, but if Cachagua firefighters hadn’t been on the front line, many more of us would have lost our homes. A grant to Cachagua Fire would help them purchase a badly needed fire engine.
- Meridith May