The purpose of the Mountain Volunteer Fire Department is to facilitate neighbors helping one another and to provide emergency fire, medical aid and rescue services to all who live, work or visit our area.


Mountain Volunteer Fire Department provides both Fire and EMS services to the community. Our responders have radios tied to REDCOM dispatch which gives them immediate access to all their resources. This means that, if needed, we can have hundreds of firefighters and dozens of pieces of equipment, such as engines, planes, helicopters come to our assistance quickly. The EMS is an important part of what we do. With medical facilities and trauma centers at least 25 minutes away, having a local responder at the site saves valuable time for providing initial medical support.


Mountain Volunteer Fire Department started as a result of the Hanley/Nuns Canyon fires of 1964. These fires devastated the areas from Mt. St. Helena all the way to Santa Rosa. The department was formed in 1968 equally as a fire department and a social organization. At that time the district designated to be served was a fairly remote community. The property and building housing the equipment was purchased in 1974.

The 1964 Hanley-Nuns Canyon Fire (locals simply refer to it as the Hanley Fire) had a huge impact on our area. It burned from Mt. St. Helena all the way to Santa Rosa. After this legendary fire, locals realized there was a need to be able to respond to wildland fires quickly and so they formed the Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in 1968.

Two local residents have written articles about this legendary fire.

First, John Fouts, of Mountain Home Ranch, a secluded country style bed and breakfast and group retreat center, was a teenager when the Hanley Fire hit. He gave his first-hand account of the fire in a two part article called: Remembering the 1964 Hanley Fire published by the Weekly Calistogan in March 2013. These articles are copyrighted by the Napa Valley Register. To read these articles in the Weekly Calistogan, click here for Part Iand here for Part 2.

Second, local resident and volunteer at Pepperwood*, George Jackson, put information about the Hanley Fire into an article and included historical maps. This information was part of a presentation given at Pepperwood Preserve about the history of the area. The 1964 Hanley Fire scorched nearly all of what is the current preserve’s 3,200 acres. Click onGeorge Jackson Article Hanley Fire  to read this account tracing the fire from its beginning on September 18 until its containment on September 27, 1964.

*Pepperwood was initially established by the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1978. In 2005 it was acquired by the Pepperwood Foundation, an independent non-profit created to take over the property and expand its education and research programs. Since June 2010, Pepperwood’s Dwight Center for Conservation Science has served over 23,000 visitors. To find out more about the Pepperwood Preserve as well as their Dwight Center for Conservation Science, click on Pepperwood Preserve or their FaceBook page.

Here is another interesting article on this fire in the Press Democrat from September 14, 2013. The article is titled Redwood Empire fire history remains visible in wild spotswritten by Guy Kovner.