Fire Captain Randy Castro retired from CAL FIRE in early 2013 after 27 years of service. Randy managed the PL566 program for CAL FIRE and used CAL FIRE CDC inmate fire crews to complete many fuel breaks, evacuation routes and other projects in Lexington Hills and south Santa Clara County. He was a CAL FIRE representative to our FireSafe Council for the four-year period from 2009 to 2012. You can see Randy and his crews every day in the revolving photos on the Home Page of our Web Site – that's Randy in one of the photos talking to Michael Hamer from the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Randy says he was happy to have completed several FireSafe Council projects and he supports its mission.
The PL566 program, funded by Santa Clara Valley Water District, includes maintenance of 22.7 miles of fire roads and 22 miles of fuel breaks for Upper Llagas Creek watershed in south Santa Clara County as well as the work in Lexington Hills under their Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Fuel break and fire road maintenance includes cutting brush, widening maintaining fuel breaks, chipping the cut brush and limbs, clearing culverts and drains, clearing and grading roads, erosion control, sign and water tank repair, helispot refurbishment and general vegetation management.
Randy is a second generation Santa Clara Valley resident having been born in San Jose and reared in Santa Clara. He's a graduate of Santa Clara's Wilcox High and attended West Valley Community College for a couple of years.
Randy also attended a two-year Forestry program at Lassen Community College in Susanville where he was influenced by several fellow students to work seasonally as a forest firefighter. He worked for the US Forest Service for nine years before joining CAL FIRE. He's an Air Force veteran and was active in the reserves for twenty years.
Randy and his wife live in Dublin where they've been for the last ten years. He has three children and two stepchildren for a total of three boys and two girls. So far, none of them seem to be following Randy's professional path: one son is a biologist (in Alaska!), one son wants to be an elementary teacher, one daughter is a journalist, one son is a health care professional and one daughter is still a student.
When he's not reading historical fiction novels, Randy likes working in his garden or on his 4X4 Bronco. He's an enthusiastic follower of the SF Giants.
What's up next in his retirement life? Randy says he doesn't have any "hard plans" other than making himself available to help out wherever he can. And that is what he has been doing for the past year as he manages the SCFSC projects with the CAL FIRE CDC crews to implement the Palo Alto Foothills Fire Management Plan under our agreement with the City of Palo Alto.