Richard Atmore, Jr.

Owner, RA Atmore & Sons, Inc.
Land Manager

Past VRFSC President

My 7,000 acre farm has a long and rich history dating back over a 100 years. About a decade ago, I realized that the brush was thicker and more impenetrable than I’d ever seen it. My fellow ranchers and I felt it was only a matter of time before the whole area exploded in wildfire.  We wanted to do something proactive. A colleague came up with the idea to start a Fire Safe Council. We did, and I became the Founding President. We were advocates of controlled burns, which wasn’t popular at the time and it was difficult to accomplish what we wanted. Then the Thomas fire hit, and 500 houses burned in one night. I lost $1 million worth of equipment, cattle, two barns, one of which was considered historic, a horse, 20 miles of fencing, 5,000 avocado trees, miles of irrigation lines, and 600 cords of split firewood valued at half a million. At least 60 percent of the habitat perished along with 100’s of oak and sycamore trees. The Thomas fire opened the door to invasive weeds, which until then were under control. We stayed and fought the fire and we thought we were going to die, if not from the flames than the smoke. We saved our house only because we had a good water supply. I continue to serve on the board – ten years in – because the important work of the Fire Safe Council must continue.“-Richard Atmore, Jr.