One basic action has not changed much over the years in firefighting - as the old saying goes, "put the wet stuff on the red stuff". Water and distribution systems for fire protection are so important in firefighting that the Insurance Services Office (ISO) gives it 40% of the total rating for fire protection when evaluating for property insurance ratings. Most of the urban and suburban areas in the county receive water through a very old water district system that includes a fire department to help protect the watershed regions.
Marin County has the oldest municipal water district in the State of California, originally chartered in 1912. The Marin Municipal Water District, or MMWD, today serves 195,000 people in a 147-square-mile (380 km2) area that includes ten towns and cities. With most of the water collected in West Marin on watershed of thousands of acres, most of the distribution occurs in the eastern urban corridor. We've started the history page on MMWD's fire protection under our "Current Departments" menu, with thanks for contributions of photographs and history to MMWD Ranger Matt Cerkel. Matt also pointed out a Line of Duty Death we were previously unaware of - MMWD Lake Keeper and Patrolman Ray Halderman died of a heart attack while helping fight a grass and brush fire on Bald Hill near Ross in 1967. Read about this on our Line of Duty Deaths section.
Also, thanks to Matt for providing a map of the 1945 Mill Fire that shows the extent of the burn - check it out under the major fires pages.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith