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City of Oroville one step closer to contracting with Cal Fire

The council decided in a 4-to-3 vote to authorize staff to use a letter of intent to begin negotiations with Cal Fire.

Posted: Mar 3, 2021 5:45 PM

OROVILLE, Calif. - One local city, heading towards the idea of bringing in a new agency to help battle fires.

Action News Now spoke with a volunteer firefighter who has been a part of the Oroville community for many years, he says if Cal Fire does take over fire protection services, his future is uncertain.

"It's a concern to me because I love to serve my community," said Pastor Stephen Terry, who is a volunteer firefighter in the city.

Pastor Terry has been helping fight fires in Oroville for over 20 years. He's worried that could change. "No one has said this but they're probably not going to want a 61-year-old water tender operator. The department personnel do not want to go to Cal Fire, none of us have objections working with Cal Fire, they are a great organization, but these guys want to work for the city of Oroville," said Terry.

Action News Now spoke with Mayor Chuck Reynolds about what happens now that the city has decided to move forward with the letter of intent.

"That opens up the next step for gathering a lot more information, there's several steps to the process so it's by no means a done deal or final decision." said Mayor Reynolds. 

Reynolds says bringing in Cal Fire would immediately add more fire engines and save money in the long run.

"If you actually compare them apples and apples, it's actually a cheaper price that we would be getting from Cal Fire," said Reynolds.

But some community members like Pastor Terry are still not sold. "I think our council is making a mistake, I don't think they're listening to the people of Oroville," said Terry.

Mayor Reynolds says any community member with questions or concerns can reach out to the council directly.

He adds, if they do move forward with Cal Fire the whole transition could take about a year. 

The Oroville city council also decided to hire a consultant to review the plan and those findings could influence the final decision.

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