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In 1880 a disastrous fire destroyed the Wagner home in Orinda and in 1915 another equally serious fire destroyed the deLaveaga home, also in Orinda. The only firefighters in the area were the few neighbors, farmhands and cowboys who rushed to assist.

In August 1923, the Orinda Volunteer Fire Department was formed.  Various social events which raised $500 funded the construction of a new firehouse. The Orinda Volunteer Fire Department was an important part of the community.  Originally, their equipment consisted of a truck loaded with two barrels of water, rakes, axes, buckets, shovels and rope.  A siren called the volunteers when they were needed. The first Fire Chief was Edward Jensen.

Historical Photos

Updated on 01/06/2020 11:08 AM

The Orinda Fire Protection District was established in February 1933 under the State Legislative Act of 1923.  It grew from one fire station with one piece of equipment staffed by volunteers to three fire stations by the 1940's. A five-man Board of Fire Commissioners was appointed to administer the affairs of the Fire District. The geographical area was described as the following; it encompassed the area from Tilden Park on the north to Del Rey School on the south and from the county line on the west to a point close to the Russel Tree Farm on the east.

Services provided in the 1960's were firefighting, fire prevention and fire education.  The staffing for each station was a 2 person crew; each person was trained in advanced first aid.  Total personnel on duty was 6 firefighters.

The Orinda Fire Protection District needed to relocate its outdated Fire Station on Avenida De Orinda, because of the flooding that often occurred during heavy rain storms.

In March 1968, Orinda voters approved a $400,000 bond issue and the current 14,000 square foot headquarters in Orinda Village was commissioned in October 1969.   

The MOFD predecessor districts were county-dependent districts. Moraga was served by a volunteer unit of the Eastern Contra Costa County FPD from 1946 until 1968, when the Moraga FPD was formed as a county-dependent district.  In 1970, Moraga voters rejected a proposal to annex to Con Fire. The Orinda FPD was formed in 1933 as a county-dependent district, and was served by volunteers until 1940, when it began paying its employees.

The MOFD was formed on July 1, 1997 as an independent special district.  MOFD was formed through the consolidation of the Moraga Fire Protection District and the Orinda Fire Protection District, to provide more efficient fire protection and emergency medical (paramedic) services. The principal act that governs the District is the Fire Protection District Law of 1987. The principal act empowers fire districts to provide fire protection, rescue, emergency medical, hazardous material response, ambulance, and any other services relating to the protection of lives and property.

This is a story that needs your help!  We are looking for the history of East Contra Costa Fire District in Moraga.  The story that tells the history before Moraga Fire Protection District was formed.  The days of volunteers, horses, ranch hands and neighbor helping neighbor.  If you have pictures or stories (close to fact as possible) that will paint a history of the old days please send them to us: info@mofd.org.