Fire department merger picks up steam 

The Sacramento River Fire Protection District, which was formed in 1997 by consolidating two rural fire departments, could see another merge in 2019 - this time with the Colusa Fire Department, as talks between city and Sac River officials begin.

Colusa Mayor Greg Ponciano said the first of many meetings to possibly consolidate the Colusa Fire Department with Sacramento River Fire Protection District got underway this month.  

Ponciano, along with Councilman Dave Markss, along with the fire chiefs of both departments, two representatives from the Sac River Fire Protection District board, and several volunteer firefighters sat down to discuss the possibility and viability of a merge in “some shape or form,” the mayor said. 

Ponciano said the first meeting went well, but doesn’t expect the process to move swiftly.  

“I believe it will be quite a process – first of all to understand what all the moving parts mean (and) what they do,” Ponciano said. “We have to figure out if there is a financial incentive for either or both jurisdictions to do that, and then decide if it should happen.” 

Ponciano said it was refreshing to see Colusa Fire Chief Logan Conley and Sac River Chief Jeff Winters, along with other representatives, come together to have a productive meeting.

Established in 1873 with 34 volunteers, Colusa Fire is the oldest fire department in Colusa County. 

Sacramento River Fire Protection District was established in 1997 by consolidating the Colusa County Fire Protection District and the Grand Island Fire Protection District, both established in 1928. 

City officials have said consolidating the fire departments could save tax payers money and provide Colusa residents better access to fire services and improved response time, especially after the city takes in more than 2,000 acres of Sac River Fire’s jurisdiction with the annexation Colusa Industrial Properties and surrounding area south of town. ■