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Announcements 7/4/2024


by Lisa Music

In the early hours of the morning, a white Tesla collided with a tree on Highway 128 at mile marker 22.7, resulting in a significant fire. Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila provided details on the incident, noting that the initial dispatch came in at 4:54 a.m. “Upon arrival, we found a Tesla fully involved in flames, with the driver already outside the vehicle,” said Avila. The driver, who sustained leg and back injuries, was given medical care and flown to a nearby trauma center.

The fire posed unique challenges to the Anderson Valley firefighters due to the nature of electric vehicle (EV) batteries. “The batteries are very difficult to extinguish because of the way they break down and the challenges in cooling them,” Avila explained.

EV fires are caused by cell rupture and thermal runaway, where lithium-ion cells react violently to air and water, potentially causing explosive reactions. This can lead to a chain reaction, with multiple cells igniting at different rates, making it hard for firefighters to determine when the fire is fully extinguished.

The environmental impact is also significant, as EV battery fires require enormous amounts of water to control—up to 28,000 gallons, compared to just 300 gallons for petrol fires, according to

Firefighters used special tools to mitigate these challenges, including devices that slide under the vehicle to cool the batteries and blankets to smother the flames. Despite the difficulty, the fire was controlled and did not spread to the wildland.

The response required coordination with Caltrans to clear the roadway. “We had a hard closure and used a loader to move the vehicle off the road, enabling one-way traffic control,” Avila noted. The scene was declared clear by 8:08 a.m., allowing normal traffic to resume.

Avila emphasized the importance of the volunteer firefighters who responded to the incident. “Our county could not have the service it has without our volunteers. They work hard and keep our community protected, often getting out of bed to respond to emergencies before most people are awake,” he said. The community’s support of these volunteers is crucial, as they perform their duties for free and often go unrecognized.

Though EV fires pose a challenge to extinguish, they do not appear to be more common than fuel-combustion vehicle fires. An InHook article noted that Battelle, a nonprofit research and development organization, concluded from their study that the likelihood and intensity of fires and explosions caused by the accidental ignition of flammable electrolytic solvents in Lithium-ion batteries are expected to be similar to, or slightly less than, those involving gasoline or diesel fuels.


AV UNIFIED NEWS: Louise Simson Bids Farewll

Dear Anderson Valley Community,

This will be my last message to you, although I prefer to frame it not as goodbye, because I will see you again soon. The last three years, we have made some transformative changes together, particularly in the area of facilities. I am excited for your new superintendent, Kristin Larson Balliet, and the administrative team of Heath McNerney and Alyson McKay to propel the achievement and academic levels forward. Everybody has their wheelhouse and mine was facilities equity. The new team will concentrate on the academic and social achievement now that the facilities are in fairly good shape.

I have been most lucky to work for a school board that is wise and thoughtful and keeps politics out of the boardroom. I thank them for their partnership. I thank the parents and community for their support on the bond, and in their outrage our infrastructure upgrades finally got legislation passed for the $500,000 septic bill, and letters of support for the track and field. I appreciate the gargantuan lift of the district office staff that put more and more on their plate that would be good for the District's kids and simply got it done. For Don Alameida for his hard work to retrofit the facilities at a cost that is far less than the large staff-heavy design firms.

I thank Bruce Anderson and Major Scaramella for giving us a platform to let the community know what was happening in their local schools. I thank the Ed Foundation and Robert Mailer Anderson and Nicola Miner for their generosity for our kids. And, I thank the staff for their hard work and effort for kids.

There is much more exciting construction to come. The CalTrans track will be finished by fall of 2025. The gym will certainly qualify for a major upgrade or perhaps a full replacement on the State’s dime. The elementary kitchen should be out to bid for construction in December. More good things are coming.

I wish you all continued health and success and leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Yeats “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

Wishing your children all the best as they learn and discover all that they can become.

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

Anderson Valley Unified School District

YORKVILLE NEWS Yorkville Community Benefits Association, June 2024

It is Finished! The Yorkville Community Benefits Association (YCBA) is so excited to finally say "it is done!" After many years of fundraising and another two to get the building built, the new fire station is actually completed, we can say it loud and proud!

We'd like to thank all of you, the Anderson Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County for all your love and support of this fabulous endeavor.

The Ice Cream Social raises approximately $18,000 towards Yorkville volunteer fire fighting resources each year. The ENTIRE community steps up to help make the Social a huge success. Look for future opportunities to add the final touches and necessities that the new fire station will need to finish her off.

Did you know that Yorkville is becoming a Firewise community?

Every year, devastating wildfires burn across the United States. At the same time, a growing number of people are living where wildfires are a real risk. While these fires will continue to happen, there are things you can do to help protect your home and neighborhood as well as your family’s safety. The NFPA Firewise USA recognition program was designed to help people learn about wildfire and how they can make their homes and neighborhoods safer. It’s based on research that shows how to prepare homes to withstand embers and prevent flames or surface fire from igniting the home and its immediate surroundings, by working in an area known as the home ignition zone (HIZ).

This is the home and everything around it within 100 feet. Firewise USA is a voluntary recognition program that provides a framework to help neighbors get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and communities from wildfire. Lisa Bauer and Chief Andres Avila are working with the Mendocino Fire Safe Council to begin the evaluation and application process. You’ll be hearing more from them and your Fire Safe area road shed coordinator.

We’ll also be posting more information at the Post Office and we’ll have a booth at the Ice Cream Social to answer all your questions in person. Let us know if you’d like to help, participate or would like more information

Check out more on Firewise communities here:

Spring Fling and the New Fire Station Celebration

What a beautiful day June 15th was. The sun was out, temperature was perfect, the sky was blue, it was a marvelous day for a party. We celebrated the opening of the new Yorkville fire station with 120 of our Yorkville neighbors and friends. The festivities were all focused in and around the new station. The building was built with 100% participation from this amazing community, from fundraising, to digging ditches, to painting, doing electrical work, to getting dirty in the concrete, and then on to celebrating with that champagne toast. 100% of this is because of you, the Yorkville community and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Festivities included fabulous tacos, delicious burgers, amazing salads, a wonderful cake and homemade cookies. We spent the afternoon eating, socializing and dancing on the brand new concrete apron, to the awesome live music provided by Dean Titus and Boot Jack 5.

We would also like to acknowledge some additional financial support from the Anderson Valley Volunteer Firefighters Association and the grants that we received from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. It truly takes a village. A Squeaky Clean Yorkville Starting this summer the Yorkville Community Benefits Association will be responsible for picking up trash along one mile of Highway 128 from the Hill ranch to the front gate of Summer Wind vineyards. In Yorkville we can make anything into a social event, so join us for the fun. We usually gather around 9:00 am and walk along the highway, in teams of two, with our bags and grabbers. Many hands make light work, it only takes and hour or so and our neighborhood looks great again, we’ve had a nice walk and we have all shared the latest current events along the way.  We’ll be selecting a date for the next pick up towards the end of summer. If you are interested in helping, contact Curtis Frost to get on to the contact list.

Are you getting the latest fire news? It is, unfortunately, fire season once again. Are you connected to the local sources for fire information? May we recommend an app for your phone called Watch Duty? It gives current general information on fires in the communities you would like to have information about. Just go to the App Store or the Google Play Store and download it onto your phone.

There is also Nixel. Stay safe and informed before, during, and after a critical event in your community. Receive alerts for severe weather, criminal activities, severe traffic, missing persons, or local events. Everbridge Nixle keeps you up-to-date with relevant information from your local public safety departments and schools. Want to opt-in to receive alerts?

Text your Zip code to 2888777 Also, the Mendocino Fire Safe Council has many ways to stay connected on their website:

A great resource for anything fire.

Empowering Yorkville Students

2024 2024 was an amazing year for our graduating seniors from Yorkville. This year we had a total of 4 deserving recipients of the YCBA Scholarship. Each applicant is granted a $1000 scholarship to be used for continuing education after high school, whether that be a four-year university, junior college, or an accredited trade school.

This year's recipients will continue on to a variety of very different educational goals. Kellie Crisman will be continuing on to Cal Poly Humboldt after graduating with high honors from Anderson Valley high school. Kellie's passion is nature, majoring in Wildlife Biology.

Alan Aguilera will be continuing his education at Mendocino college with a focus on becoming a professional firefighter through their Fire Science program. Alan has been a dedicated and enthusiastic cadet and firefighter for the Anderson Valley Volunteer fire dept, responding from the Yorkville station.

August Spacek will be continuing his education, guided by his love of anything mechanical, he’s planning on attending Santa Rosa Jr. College, with the end goal to become a professional diesel mechanic. Gus has also been training and responding with the AV Fire dept. from the Yorkville station.

Jack Spacek, August’s twin brother, will be continuing his education at Cal Poly Humboldt to major in applied fire science. Congratulation everyone. We wish you the best!

Brewfest 2024

The YCBA continues to volunteer with other valley charities and non-profits to run the Brewfest, hosted by the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. This year, the Star Wars-themed event boasted over 80 breweries, and several thousand attendees. We run the front gate operation, welcoming event goers, and doing the nitty-gritty of checking IDs and tickets. We are fortunate to receive a portion of the proceeds from the event as a donation, each year. If you like beer, it’s a great event to volunteer for.

It’s not too early to start planning for our 32nd annual Ice Cream Social, held this Labor Day, Sept. 2 at the Community Center. Think about baking creative cakes for the cake walk, hosting a unique experience or dinner for the Silent Auction, donating books you are finished with for the Book Sale, trying your luck at winning this year’s beautiful quilt, or coming to volunteer with your neighbors to work a shift the day of the event. A good time is most certainly had by all. Most importantly, we invite you to Join us for Live Music, hamburgers and hot dogs piping hot off the grill, an enormous Book Sale, fresh and exciting salads and outrageous baked goods. We’ll be dancin’ around the Calk Walk floor and learning all about cool nature stuff with the kids.

Once again, the educators from the Galbreath Preserve will be bringing lots of interesting things for all ages to experience. Labor Day Monday, September 2nd 11:00am to 4:00pm. For more information, reach out to Lisa at

The 2024 Quilt is amazing! You can get your quilt tickets now. Contact Tina at Tickets are $2 each, 3 for $5 or 12 for $20.

A lovely artistic masterpiece quilt has created and donated to the YCBA thanks to the Yorkville Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society. This will be the 32nd year of their creative collaboration and generous donation. You’ll also be able to purchase tickets at the Social and the Apple Fair, but why wait when you can get them now.

Have you heard the buzz about our community heating and cooling center? In these days of extreme climate change, our weather has been so bizarre, we've had snow all the way down to the highway and we've had some 115° temperatures in the summer. We know that some of our neighbors don't have the capacity to warm themselves or cool themselves adequately at the extreme ranges of these events.

In the coming months, we will be remodeling the community room to make it a heating and cooling center for the community, among other new uses. The center will have an air conditioner and/or a heater and will offer free Wi-Fi and a place to stay warm or cool for at least a portion of the day. Look for announcements this summer.

Please Visit our Website The YCBA | PO Box 222 | Yorkville, CA 95494.


Anderson Valley, [July 2024] — The Anderson Valley Grange is proud to announce the completion of a critical project aimed at providing uninterrupted power supply during outages. This significant milestone has been achieved through a dedicated grants from the CA State Grange and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. This project ensures that the Grange can function as a hub for community support offering a variety of support services during a power outage or disaster.

The newly installed propane generator is a key component of a comprehensive project designed to enhance community resilience. The project, Respite in a Time of Need, includes the provision of internet service, water supply, electronic device charging and for those dependent on medical devices, loaner charging batteries and a small generator. These efforts collectively ensure that the Anderson Valley Grange can be a vital resource for the community.

The initial phases of the project, including internet service and water supply enhancements, were made possible by generous funding from the Mendocino Community Foundation, Unspoken Word, and the local community.

With the completion of this multi-faceted project, the Anderson Valley Grange is now better equipped to serve as a reliable center for community support, providing essential services and resources during outages. The Grange extends its heartfelt gratitude to all contributors and partners who have made this achievement possible.

Community volunteers will be needed to staff the building when open, approximately 8am to 6pm. It will be a simple task of being a host and assisting persons with internet connection and device charging. If you are interested in potentially being of assistance, please contact the Grange at

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