Station 59 - 14506 Rough and Ready Highway


Mission Statement

This District shall provide fire protection, fire suppression, rescue and emergency medical services, education in fire safety and emergency standards, and other services to protect lives and property while maintaining the highest level of safety for firefighters/rescue personnel.  Services shall be provided in a professional manner within the economic and demographic limitations of our community and in recognition of the need for dedicated volunteer involvement, as appropriate, using innovation and flexibility in response to local needs and conditions.





For Immediate Release
September 16, 2022

Penn Valley and Rough and Ready Fire Departments Explore District Consolidation with New Committee
A committee with representatives from both districts has been formed with a mission to improve emergency response times, equipment, and staffing and ensure long-term fiscal solvency.

Nevada County, Ca— September 16, 2022On September 7, a new committee consisting of board members from both districts officially launched a feasibility study, taking the first step toward consolidating the two adjacent fire districts.  During the first meeting, areas of concern were outlined, a mission statement was adopted, and a goal was set to complete the feasibility study by July 1, 2023. It was also agreed that no final decisions would be made without extensive community engagement and feedback.

Rough and Ready Fire Department currently responds to many Penn Valley emergencies as the closest resource available. With the Rough and Ready Fire Department now staffed part-time, this impacts Penn Valley Fire Protection District’s (PVFPD) response and the overall safety of residents in the entire region. It is the goal of both agencies to guarantee 24/7 coverage to 100% of the current residents in the Penn Valley and Rough and Ready Footprint. The newly formed committee is exploring the specifics of how this can be achieved and will seek community feedback on how to best move forward.

“This is an exciting time for our area. We have leadership from both districts coming to the table, rolling up their sleeves, and getting to work on figuring this out. It needs to be a win across the board for all our residents and firefighters, now and well into the future.” Says committee member and Penn Valley Fire District Board Vice Chairman Terry McMahan. “It won’t be easy, but I’m encouraged to see many stepping up to respond to our current situation and build a sustainable plan.” Adds Tom Nelson, Rough & Ready Vice Chairperson.

On September 13, the Rough and Ready Fire Board named current Penn Valley Fire Chief Don Wagner as Operational Chief for Rough and Ready Fire. In this role, he will oversee daily operations and staff management and advise the committee on how to streamline administration and improve regional emergency coverage. “In 1996, when I started, we took about 650 calls a year. Now we are looking at over 1700 per year. This job has changed, and our agencies need to adapt to meet the need. We know this is a big concern for our residents, and we hope they become part of the solution by providing feedback. Right now, however, we want to stress that services will not be interrupted in either district.”

Oversight of the committee will be conducted by Nevada County Board of Supervisors Representative Sue Hoek and Local Area Formation Council Executive S.R. Jones, with final approval by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors.

“I’m inspired by the commitment of everyone involved. It is a complex problem that requires methodical review, and we want everyone impacted to be part of the process. We hope folks will consider joining the regular board meetings, and we will be planning town halls in 2023 to gather additional feedback.” Adds Sue Hoek.

Regular board meetings:

Penn Valley Board Meetings,
1st Tuesday of every month
Station 43
10513 Spenceville Rd, Penn Valley, CA 95946
6:30 pm
Rough and Ready Board Meeting
2nd Tuesday of every month
Rough and Ready Firehouse
14506 Rough and Ready Hwy, Rough and Ready, CA 95975
6:30 pm

Complete List of Committee Members:
Bruce Stephenson, Penn Valley Chairperson Committee spokesperson:
Tom Nelson, Rough & Ready Vice Chairperson
Terry McMahan, Penn Valley Director
Doug Wittler, Rough & Ready Director
Committee Advisors:
Don Wagner, Penn Valley Fire Chief
Sue Hoek, Nevada County Supervisor District 4
S.R. Jones, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) Executive Officer





(L to R: Rough and Ready Fire Protection District Director Tom Nelson, Grange Master Mike Roman, Mary Lou Roman, Upper Rough and Ready Firewise Community leaders Jim Mezzetta and John Wetzel, Squirrel Creek HOA representative Sharon Loucks, Anna Dalcour, RaRFPD Director Doug Wittler, James Dalcour and RaRFPD Board Chairman Sheridan Loungway)

(L to R : Rough and Ready Fire Protection District Board Chairman Sheridan Loungway, Rough and Ready Village Mobile Home Park Managers Sean Curtis and Mary Ann Nelson, and  RaRFPD Director Craig Ashcraft)


Members of four Rough and Ready community groups and businesses assembled on Monday, Oct. 24 to present their donations, raised by the recent Community Wide Yard Sale, to the Board of Directors of the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District.

Leaders of the Rough and Ready Grange #795, the Upper Rough and Ready Firewise Community, the Rough and Ready Village Mobile Home Park and the Squirrel Creek Homeowners Association presented the Fire Department with checks totaling $3,600.

The First Annual Community Wide Yard Sale, held at two locations in Rough and Ready over the weekend of October 15 and 16, saw hundreds of locals and area friends visit the sites and find items of interest. “We love our Fire Department,” said Mary Ann Nelson, co-manager of Rough and Ready Village and one of the the originators of the fundraising idea, “and we’re so happy to be able to show them how much this town appreciates them.”

Members of all these groups spent countless hours, collecting and transporting items, cleaning them and preparing them for the sale.

“It truly speaks to the spirit of this community,” said Board of Directors Chairman Sheridan Loungway, “that so many people from different groups pulled together and worked so hard toward a common goal: helping their Fire Department.”



Join us on the 2nd Thursday of the month!

Get together with your friends and neighbors...and meet new the monthly Fire Department Spaghetti Feed, now back after a COVID Imposed hiatus!  Enjoy a delicious Spaghetti Dinner, provided by Behind the Scenes: Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed green salad and garlic bread. Dinner begins serving at 5pm. Donations are gratefully accepted!

Ask, too, how you can join BTS (Behind the Scenes), a great organization of Firefighters and community members, whose focus is supporting our Firefighters!



July 12, 2022

The current Administration of the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District has reached out and met with the Employees' Union Representatives, neighboring Fire Districts, our County District 4 Supervisor, LAFCo Representative, ECC (Emergency Command Center) and community groups over the past several months to find a sustainable solution to our budgetary restrictions.

To ensure fiscal stability, the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District is temporarily suspending staffing two days out of the week on a rotating basis, beginning July 15th. During this time our Mutual Aid Agreements with our neighboring agencies will cover our response within the Fire District, with little or no time delay.

We appreciate the continuing support and participation of the community in this matter.

Board of Directors

Rough and Ready Fire Protection District



  • The Rough and Ready Fire Protection District has operated as a volunteer fire department since its inception in 1967.  Various revenue sources help fund its operation.  In 2018, we put on paid staff consisting of two Captains working as single staffing on rotating shifts of three (24 hour) days on and three days off, along with volunteer staffing.
  • In 2019 the Fire District came to the Community and asked for a per-parcel Fire Suppression Assessment for the purpose of enhancing staffing and budget tolerance for the increasing expenses of services, maintenance and supplies of a staffed fire station.  The Assessment was based on fire suppression services only.
  • The Assessment Engineering was based on the previous work schedule.  After the Assessment passed, the District was able to hire two more personnel, allowing us to staff the fire house with 2-on staffing, 24/7, and fund the expanding cost of operating a staffed fire station.
  • The "Three Day Staffing" became problematic with overtime, scheduling and expenditures and had become phased out in the industry. The current industry standard is a 48 hour on-shift with 96 hours off-shift (48/96), creating three shifts (A Shift, B Shift and C Shift) employing six Firefighters, supplementing with two/three seasonal fire personnel during fire season.  This allowed us to participate in Strike Team assignments, bringing in extra revenue, as well as back-staffed with our dedicated volunteers.
  • In 2021 the State Fire Marshal eliminated the volunteer fire certification, and began requiring a minimum standard completion certification from an accredited Fire Academy.  This, along with other mandates from the Fire Marshal and the State, created unmanageable operating costs.  Our payroll, benefits and workers compensation has grown along with the cost of living and inflationary increases.
  • While it has only been a few short years since the Assessment was implemented, the industry and the cost of doing business has changed significantly.  Our revenue has changed very little in comparison.
  • The current administration has taken on the challenge to find a sustainable solution to maintain the quality service the Community has come to know and expect.  We are reaching out and meeting with Employees' Union Representatives, neighboring Fire Districts, our County Supervisor, LAFCO (the agency that has oversight on Special Districts), Community groups and individuals to obtain input from all parties involved in order to find a sustainable solution.
  • The current Board of Directors thanks the Community for its strong support over the many years.  With the help of our community and our Grange, Chamber of Commerce, the Upper Rough and Ready Fire Wise Road Committee, active individuals as well as the added benefits of ending Covid restrictions, the Rough and Ready Fire Protection District is looking forward to resuming the community breakfast, spaghetti dinners, Secession Days, the Baked Potato Booth at the Fair and other activities and events. We are committed to working with our community to keep our local pride and identity.













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January 2023
Contact Information

14506 Rough and Ready Hwy

Mailing address: PO Box 10 

Rough and Ready, CA 95975


Office 530-432-1140

Fax 530-432-9076.


Rough and Ready Fire Department

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