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Resident grateful to Oliver for help in solving problem

I’d like to tell you about a fire danger to the neighborhood I live in and how Will Oliver helped me resolve it.

I am a long-time resident of the City of Madera and have lived in my home for 40-plus years. My home is very close to the Fresno River and backs up to highway 99. I recently contacted the city and county concerning a fire danger to homes on my street.

Behind my home and others on my side of my street are oleanders that line the highway.

Along the river, every year, weeds and grass grow in spring and then dry out during summer.

Also, every year, there are fires in the river and sometimes those fires burn up onto the riverbank. One year a fire did just that, it burned up the bank and across to the oleanders lining the highway 99 right of way.

The fire continued to burn in the oleanders and since those bushes are right next to the properties on my street it burned some of our fences.

Thankfully, Cal Fire stopped the fire before it spread further into our yards and to our homes.

This year I contacted the Mayor, the City Council, the city fire department, and the county fire department about this danger through a letter sent by email. The day after I sent that letter, Will Oliver, my councilman, called and asked to come by to see me.

I should also mention the Assistant Fire Chief for the City and County (at the time one person represented both the city and county) met with me the day after that.

Will Oliver and I discussed and viewed the area of my concern and discussed what was needed and other subjects of concerns, for example: the homeless, crime, etc.

The following weekend, thru the efforts of Will Oliver and Cal Fire, the area of fire danger was mitigated.

Workers from Cal Fire knocked down brush and trimmed trees and bushes along the riverbank. In addition, some drifters, living in the river, were encouraged by the City Police to move on and the large amount of debris they generate was cleaned up by code enforcement.

I would like to thank Will Oliver, Cal Fire, code enforcement, the police department for all of their efforts and the expeditious manner that this matter was resolved.

— Thomas Baird,


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