Crews demolish the Cal Fire Station in Westwood to begin construction on a new facility. Photo by Forest Duerksen

Demolition of Westwood Cal Fire station complete

Following several postponements, the Cal Fire Station in Westwood underwent demolition July 25. A new station will be constructed at the site on County Road A-21 and Greenwood Street, which will be one building with a three firetruck bay.

In 2018 preparations were made to turn over the station to the contractor around April 1, but the project went back out to bid because the lowest bid received in the first round was $1.5 million over budget. Demolition was again scheduled for February 2019 but put on hold.

The Cal Fire crew in Westwood moved out of their station and into the Westwood Fire Station Friday, April 26. The plan during the construction process is to keep three Cal Fire crewmembers at Westwood’s fire station along with one truck. The rest of the crew that is added in fire season is being housed in Chester along with the second truck.

To keep a Cal Fire crew in town, Forest Duerksen, Westwood Fire Chief, remodeled the living quarters and office space at the Westwood Fire Station. Upstairs a new kitchen counter and cabinets were installed, new vanities were purchased for both bathrooms and new laminate flooring was laid throughout. Several energy efficient windows were purchased and a new, large water heater. The living quarters has two bedrooms for firefighters, a bedroom for the person in the supervisory position and two bathrooms.

The Westwood Fire Department will receive $500 a month rent from Cal Fire and the state agency will be responsible for all utilities and routine maintenance, such as janitorial services.

With the new Cal Fire building, the barracks will be part of the main structure. New amenities will include a washer extractor for cleaning turnouts and an air room for filling breathing apparatus.