Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department
PO Box 398, 14281 Hwy 128, Boonville, CA 95415 (707) 895-2020
DEATH OF ANDERSON VALLEY FIREFIGHTER
Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Mendocino County Sheriff, and CAL FIRE released the following statement regarding the death of volunteer Firefighter Recruit Bob Roland, 63, of Anderson Valley, CA.
Mr. Roland suffered fatigue and respiratory difficulties on the afternoon of July 2, 2008, while working on the Oso Fire, located approximately nine miles northwest of the community of Boonville, CA. Mr. Roland was transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center where he passed away during the early morning hours of July 3, 2008.
All Mendocino County Fire Services and supporting agencies extend their deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. Roland.
Volunteer Firefighter Roland grew up in Southern California and was a volunteer firefighter for CDF in Riverside as a teenager. Roland was a Marine pilot from 1967 to 1977 and flew F-4 fighters. He retired from an aeronautical engineering firm in San Diego County and relocated to Anderson Valley six months ago.
Bob Roland is survived by his wife of 33 years, Carol, his sister Lynda, her husband Dar, and nephews Eric and David.
Private services were held on Tuesday, June 8, 2008. In Bob’s memory, the family has requested that to honor Bob Roland’s sacrifice, all energy be put into successfully fighting the Mendocino Lightning Complex Fires. Recognizing the importance of family, the family has urged all firefighters to spend as much time with their families as possible.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, any donations be made to the Anderson Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association, PO Box 398, 14281 Hwy 128, Boonville, CA 95415 (707) 895-2020 or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, PO Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202.
In a nut shell this is the way it came down and the way it stands
HISTORY: During the evening and early morning of June 20 and 21 a wide front of dry thunder storms with dry lightening came through the Mendocino County area, mostly north of Ukiah and Boonville. By Saturday afternoon we had identified 10 major fires in the Anderson Valley Fire Department district. Our department has rolling stock of 12 pieces of equipment from rescue pick-ups to water tenders. Our 30 volunteers responded and attacted the most threatening fires. We pulled 14 hour shifts between the 8am briefing and dark. At dark we had to walk away from the fire so we would be rested and tuned up for another attack the next morning. On the third day a strike team from Sacremento ( 31\2 hours away) arrived to help. All local fire agencies were booked solid with their own fires and could not help with their neighbors fires. With over 1000 fires burning in the county the air was so thick with smoke most aircraft were grounded. The weather so far has been favorable with high humity and low evening temperatures in the 50 and 60.
On Thursday and Friday our fire department stood down for two days after the death of one of our firefighters.
If it were not for the sopport of our community we would have fought fire without food. Business' and commuinity members came to the Boonville station in droves with sandwitches, soup, cookies, drinks and other support. Others went to our two grocery stores and gas station and put money on the fire department account.
TODAY: We continue to fight the remaining fires but now with the help of several strike teams. The National Guard arrived today with 250 personnal and after two more days of training they will be helping mop-up. There are three fires still working in our fire district and we expect they will continue for some time to come. One of these fires is now 13,400 acres, and counting. There is a red flag warning in effect for the next couple of days and this has unhappy potential. Temperatures are expected to reach 105 degrees. Keep your fingers crossed. To date only two structures have been lost but 34 injuries and one death.
Today July 9 2008 in Mendocino County alone there are still 37 fires burning covering 48,880 acres and it is expected to reach 70,000 acres. There is about 60% containment with 1,729 pieces of equipment on the fires.
Mendocino Lightning Complex