Residents living in Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties interested in a fire prevention program email

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CAl FIRE Responds to Calls for Assistance

The firefighters and camp crews of CAL FIRE are the State's emergency rapid response personnel. Yesterday, as the rain continued to pour down across California, CAL FIRE firefighters and crews responded to several requests for assistance throughout the San Bernardino Unit. The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit extends from the San Bernardino/Riverside county line north along the eastern slops of the Sierra Mountains to the northern tip of Mono County.

Monday, December 20, 2010 CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit crews from the Owens Valley camp near Bishop were involved in snow removal in the Mammoth Lakes area. Four crews were helping to clear roads and fire hydrants. The crews assisted in shoveling out paths to homes where residents were in need of regular medical attention. Crews are back in Mammoth Lakes today continuing to keep the fire hydrants clear. They will also be digging out propane tanks so that people who are running out can be serviced in order to maintain their heating and safety. The crews will also respond to any other situations that might arise.

In the San Bernardino County area, camp crews responded to requests to assist with flooding in the pinon Hills and Wrightwood areas. In the area of Buckwheat and Oak Springs Road in Pinon Hills, Fenner Camp crews did sandbagging and debris flow diversion to protect homes that were being flooded. Other Fenner Camp crews spent the late afternoon and night helping to avert flooding of Highway 2 and several homes in the Wrightwood area. the crews did sandbagging and debris flow work until after midnight.

Today, Fenner Camp crews and equipment are working to open Red Gluch Road in the Valyermo area of Los Angeles County. The road was covered in debris, cutting off the residents of the Big Rock Organizational Camp. There are approximately six homes in the camp with mostly elderly residents. The work to open up the road began at 8:00 A.M. this morning.

Crews from Prado Camp are assisting with flooding at Patton State Hospital in the City of Highland. Crews from the Pilot Rock Camp are on standby to respond to any additional strom related requests for assistance.

Friday, December 10, 2010

CAL FIRE Christmas Safety Video

To see more safety tips, see story below.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Official BDU Blog Site Announcement:

For the past several months, BDU has been operating this blog site in a trial phase. This preliminary effort has proved very successful and I want to officially announce its operation. This site is fully approved by CAL FIRE Sacramento Headquarters.

I urge every member of the unit to visit this site when it is appropriate to do so. I have supported the development of this site as a way to share information about the operations, accomplishments, and successes of BDU and its personnel.

This site provides information for the public at large, Unit personnel, and the fire service in general. The information covers a wide range of topics, including fire response, personnel accomplishments and awards, safety and general fire service information.

Thank you for taking the time to check out our Blog Site.

BDU Unit Chief

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Tree Safety

The Christmas season is underway. The stores are having their sales, the temperatures are cool, festive lights are going up around the neighborhood, and families are shopping for their Christmas tree.

If you are still planning on decorating your home with lights, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and your local fire department reminds you that checking those light strands before putting them up could help to prevent a devastating fire. Make sure that all indoor and outdoor lighting and electrical decorations are approved for the use you have planned for them and that they are in good condition. If you find damaged wires or frayed ends, replace the entire set of lights. It’s much less expensive to replace a string of lights than your home.

CAL FIRE has these suggestions for your trip to the local Christmas tree lot. Test for freshness by gently tugging on the needles: If they readily come off in your hand, the tree is dry and you should look for a fresher one. Always trim two (2) inches from the base: Place in water or wet sand. Check the water level daily and add water as needed during the holiday season. At home, keep the tree away from heaters and drapes. Never place an open flame on or near the tree. Use mini-lights on your tree, they produce less heat reducing the drying effect and are less expensive to operate. As with outside lights, always check for frayed or cracked wiring and broken sockets before placing them on the tree. Never leave the lights on while you are away or asleep. Additionally, avoid overloading the electrical circuits.

As a Christmas tree grows dryer over the weeks that it is in your home, it becomes increasingly easy for any significant heat source include large hot lights to ignite the tree.

If you have young children, keep an eye on them to make sure that they don’t accidentally set the tree on fire. A six foot cut Christmas tree can ignite and burn to a cinder in about 30 seconds. That is all the time necessary to begin a fire that can destroy your home and possibly result in death or injury for family members.

For additional safety, remove the tree from the house the day after Christmas and never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace. It burns to fast and can be explosive. Try to recycle your Christmas tree if possible. The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit wishes everyone a Fire Safe Holiday Season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Transitions to Winter Staffing

The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit (BDU) has transitioned to Winter staffing levels effective Monday, November 29, 2010. The staffing reduction is in response to the reduced fire hazard potential. The wet Winter weather is allowing the San Bernardino Unit to reduce staffing by laying off seasonal firefighters and reducing the number of full time staffed fire engines. CAL FIRE recognizes that wildland fires can start at any time in Southern California and we will continue to be prepared to respond.

In the San Bernardino Unit, the Bishop and Independence (in the Owens Valley), Phelan, Yucca Valley, and Yucaipa fire stations will remain open with a fire engine staffed with a three person crew. CAL FIRE BDU will also have one fire crew per camp available for immediate response on the weekend.

Arson Suspects Arrested

CAL FIRE fire investigators assisted in the investigation and arrest of three teenagers for arson fires in the Bishop area. The fires were set on November 11th, 12th, and 13th. The multiple fires were reported in the city and county areas of Bishop in the Owens Valley. Investigators from the Inyo County Sheriff's Department, CAL FIRE, Bishop Police and Fire Departments put the case together.

Thomas Stone, 18 years old from Bishop, Jared Manga, 18 years old from Bishop: and one 16 year old juvenile from Bishop were arrested. All three suspects were charged with arson and conspiracy. "These fires had the potential to cause major damage and potential loss of life, but the quick response by Bishop Fire and Investigators avoided potential tragedy." said Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze.

Prevent Fires and Injuries This Thanksgiving

CAL FIRE wants to warn residents about the many dangers that the Thanksgiving Holiday can present. The end of the year for most Americans means preparing for feasts, festivities and fun throughout the holiday season. But each year that joy is marred by tragedy when accidents and fires cause injuries and even death.

Thanksgiving remains the leading day for home cooking fires with 3 times as many cooking fires as an average day, according to statistics by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In fact, on Thanksgiving Day 2009, CAL FIRE crews responded to over 600 emergency incidents and sadly one person died in a home fire.

"Every holiday the number of emergencies CAL FIRE responds to increases," said Chief Ken Pimlott, acting CAL FIRE director. "While that's our job, we certainly don't want to respond to your home this Thanksgiving because there was a fire or someone was burned. "We want everyone to have a safe holiday season."

To help reduce the chance of fire and injuries associated with holiday cooking, follow these tips:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
  • If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Cooking food should always be supervised by an adult.
  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and other material that can burn. Never use on wooden decks or in garages.
  • Children should not be permitted near a turkey fryer since hot oil can cause serious burn injuries.
  • Provide a level surface that is free of ignitable materials when using turkey fryers.
  • Make sure a fire extinguisher is handy at all times. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.

For more information go to

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fire Recognition Days at Knott's Berry Farm

Fire and Police Recognition Days at Knott's Berry Farm
Starting Thanksgiving Day and running through December 19,
Knott's will honor all those who protect life and property with Fire and Police Recognition Days.
FREE admission to the park will be offered to all active fire and police personnel and one guest. Up to six additional tickets can be purchased for only $15 each.

*Eligible person must be present.
Take advantage, you deserve it!

CIvics Day

Yesterday, November 16th was "Civics Day" in the City of Highland, California. This annual event allows high school students to shadow people in areas of civil service that they aspire to. CAL FIRE hosted two high school seniors from Orangewood High School in the City of Redlands.

Ricardo Gomez and Chad Kurr both want to go into the fire service. For their visit, they were taken to a Highland fire station where they received a tour and learned about the daily routine that firefighters go through. Later in the morning, the two teens and their fire engines met up in a parking lot to participate in a training hose lay.

Ricardo Gomez gets the feel of working the nozzle. Ricardo says that when he was young, he went to a local fire station on a field trip. Once there, he says that he feel in love with the big red truck and decided that he wanted to become a firefighter. After high school he plans to become a volunteer firefighters while he attends the fire academy.

Senior Chad Kurr also had his opportunity to work the nozzle as the teens were shown how to attack a structure fire. Chad also wants to become a firefighter and plans to attend a fire academy and apply to become a season firefighters for the United States Forest Service.

Crafton Hills Fire Academy

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit firefighters assisted the Crafton Hills Fire Academy with their three day "Basic Wildland" fire class. The three day class ran from Monday, November 8 through Wednesday, November 10th. The class consisted of one day of classroom instruction and two days of practical application. Included in the classroom instruction were topics regarding wildland fire terminology, basic fire safety, and basic Incident Command System organization. The last two days involved learning about fireline construction and how to use the tools to accomplish it, along with helicopter safety and operation. The third day saw the cadets learning how to do progressive hose lays and mobile pumping.

CAL FIRE seasonal firefighter Alison Hesterly works the nozzle as she leads a demonstration hose lay for the cadets.

Seasonal firefighter Rachel Kliewer explains some of the finer techniques of switching out the nozzle and a new section of hose.

Seasonal firefighter Diane Thompson explains some of the responsibilities of working the nozzle on a hose lay.

CAL FIRE Unit Chief Presents JAC Certificates

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Chief Doug McKain had a busy day Wednesday, November 1oth. He visited three fire stations to personally present JAC Certificates to four CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit firefighters. At each station Chief McKain did a personal presentation of each firefighter's Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) certificates. Pictured below are Jeff Silva and Dean Fehler from Yucaipa Fire Station #551, Peter Grzeskowiak at Yucaipa Fire Station #552, and Elizabeth Brown from Highland Fire Station #542.

The apprenticeship training consists of academy followed by specific instruction that relates to and supplements what was taught in the academy. It provides true-to-life experience through on the job training. CAL FIRE has three year apprentice programs for the classifications of Fire Fighter II and Fire Apparatus Engineer.

Monday, November 1, 2010

CAL FIRE Says It's Time to Fall Back

As we prepare to fall back one hour this November 7, 2010, the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit wants to remind you to make a change that could save your life and that of your family – changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Communities throughout California and the Nation are witness to tragic home fire deaths and injuries every year. Approximately every three hours a home fire death occurs somewhere in the nation with 80-percent of those fires happening in homes without working smoke alarms. Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits they were designed to provide.

Changing the batteries in these life saving devices at least once a year is one of the simplest forms of insurance you can have. In fact, working smoke alarms reduce by nearly half the risk of dying in a home fire. Additionally, how old is your smoke alarm? The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends replacing your smoke alarms every ten years.

“The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are asleep,” says CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Chief Doug McKain. According to CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Fire Prevention Battalion Chief Bart Chambers, “Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.” For more fire safety information you can go to

Friday, October 29, 2010

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Assistant Chief Doug Lannon demonstrates the proper use of a fire shelter

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CAL FIRE Owens Valley Camp Crew to the Rescue

A CAL FIRE Owens Valley Camp Crew was involved in the rescue of a hiker that fell off a cliff. To read more on the story check this link

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CAL FIRE Firefighters help during Fire Prevention Week

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Firefighters from the Yucca Valley Fire Station participated in Fire Prevention week festivities at the Home Depot in Yucca Valley. The October 7th event drew a large crowd including 100 kids from the local headstart program. With Smokey Bear overseeing the work, the firefighters helped the children to assemble their own wooden version of the Home Depot #20 race car. In fact, the kids got to see the real #20 car as well.

Red Flag Warnings

Monday, October 25, 2010

CAL FIRE BDU Attends Weekend Events

The San Bernardino Unit of CAL FIRE was again involved in several public safety events over the past weekend. On Saturday, October 23rd, Engine 3559 and crew from Devore attended a public safety event sponsored by the Home Depot in the city of Fontana. The firefighters handed out safety information to the adults and fire safety coloring books and Smokey Bear comic books to the kids.

Meanwhile, over in the city of San Bernardino, engine 3569 and crew from Yucaipa were participating in a public safety event sponsored by Sears and located at the Inland Center Mall. Not only did the firefighters hand out lots of fire safety material, but Smokey Bear himself was there much to the delight of children and adults alike.

To end the weekend, CAL FIRE was invited to have a display of equipment that included engine 3566 and a Crew Carrier. The Sunday event was the Chino Valley Fire Muster and Chile Cookoff. A number of Explorer posts participated in the muster events, while the chile was plentiful and varied. CAL FIRE was honored to be asked to participate in these public events in order to provide safety education and information for the public.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rose Parade Entry Remembers 9-11

To learn more go to;

Friday, October 15, 2010

Teens Arrested for Arson

CAL FIRE/Highland City firefighters responded yesterday, October 14, 2010 to a structure fire at 6987 Elmwood Drive in Highland, California. While firefighters quickly extinguished the small blaze, witnesses informed Highland City Sheriff’s Deputies that two teenagers had been seen entering and leaving the vacant house around the time of the fire. Deputies quickly searched the surrounding area, located and detained the two teens reported by the witnesses.

CAL FIRE/San Bernardino Unit Fire Investigators Battalion Chief Bart Chambers and Fire Captain Specialist Jack Markle responded and took custody of the teens. During their investigation, Chambers and Markle determined there was enough evidence to arrest the two teens . It was also determined that the two teens had started a small vegetation fire inside the city limits of San Bernardino, California. The fires reportedly happened within an hour of each other. The two teens, brother and sister ages 13 and 15 had been reported as runaways on Wednesday, October 13th.

The two were charged with two counts of 451(c) of the California Penal Code; willfully and maliciously setting a fire which is a felony crime. The teens were cited and released to their parents. No injuries were reported and damage to the structure and contents was less than $5,000 dollars.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Arrest made in Miller Fire

An arrest has been made in the Miller fire which was reported Tuesday evening, August 17, 2010 at 4:56 PM. The fire burned between the south end of Silverwood Lake and the Miller Canyon camp ground. Firefighters and hand crews from CAL FIRE, the United States Forest Service and San Bernardino County responded to fight the flames.

The arrest was the result of a combined investigation between CAL FIRE and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Twin Peaks Station. While conducting their investigation, Captain Specialists Brian Tominaga and Jack Markle requested assistance from Deputy Brimmer at the Twin Peaks Station. That effort resulted in the arrest yesterday, October 13, 2010 of a juvenile who was released to his parents. He has been charged with California Penal Code section 452(c) - Unlawfully causing a fire on forest land. Conviction could result in jail time and a fine. This could also result in civil cost collection for the cost of fighting the fire.

The fire burned in an area that last burned during the 2003 Old Fire which burned north from Waterman Canyon above the City of San Bernardino over the mountains through the community of Crestline and down into the Lake Silverwood/Miller Canyon area. No injuries have been reported and no structures were destroyed.

Monday, October 11, 2010


The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit was honored to participate in the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) San Bernardino County Memorial Tribute and Community Awareness Event. This first of its kind event was held on Saturday, October 9th at Wildwood park in San Bernardino and was sponsored by the San Bernardino Chapter of MADD. It was designed to honor to the memories of those who have been killed by drunk drivers in San Bernardino County.

Participants included CAL FIRE, San Bernardino City Fire, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept. San Bernardino P.D. and the CHP along with a variety of health and safety organizations. Besides honoring and remembering those who have been killed by drunk drivers, the event also served to remind the public that there remains a lot to do.

In California, nearly 1,300 people are killed and approximately 31,000 people are injured annually because of people driving under the influence. Nationally, on average, one person is killed every 30 minutes by a person driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

CAL FIRE is proud to stand with MADD and the other agencies in the ongoing effort to reduce the damage and death caused by people driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. For more information visit the MADD website at

Friday, October 8, 2010

Los Angeles Stair Climb 2010

"Elevators Are For Wimps" is the yearly motto in Los Angeles every September.

The US Bank Tower, located in downtown Los Angeles, is the tallest building west of the Mississippi. It stands more than 1000 feet tall with 75 stories and a total of 1,500 steps.
The Ketchum-Downtown YMCA, which is located inside the US Bank Tower, holds an annual charity event to raise money for kids, teens and adults. It is a growing event which raises money for preschools, teachers, school supplies, youth programs, college counseling and senior fitness programs.

From Left to Right:
Engineer Jeff Silva ~ FFII Medic Steve Ismerio ~ Captain Josh Janssen ~ FFII Medic Steve Leverette

On September 24, 2010, the San Bernardino Unit (BDU) Fire Personnel listed above returned to Los Angeles for the 2010 Ketchum-Downtown YMCA Annual Stair Climb. This is the fourth consecutive year that our Unit has participated in this event.

The first year we participated in the event, we were the only CAL FIRE Team. This year there were nine CAL FIRE Teams and several other Fire Department Teams from all across the State.

Most individuals train for months to be able to climb this building; And they only wear workout gear and tennis shoes.

A few years ago they (Ketchum-Downtown YMCA) decided to add a "High Rise Heroes" division to honor the Fallen FDNY Firemen. This entails completing the event in full Structure Fire Protective Equipment that the members of FDNY were wearing during their climb up the Twin Towers (9/11/2001). The equipment adds around 60 lbs. to that of your body weight.

This year we completed the event in right at 40 minutes.

As you can see, the view from the top is amazing.

The events total dollar amount raised this year was $281,290.00.

Congratulations to all whom participated !

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fire Prevention Week

The 2010 Fire Prevention Week is off to a great start. Running from October 3 to October 9, Fire Prevention Week is a time for the public to interact with the fire service in an effort to help prevent fires. This year's theme is "SMOKE ALARMS: a sound you can live with".

Fire Prevention week got off to an early start for the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit with their participation at the Yucaipa Emergency Preparedness Expo. There was a bit of a Halloween theme for the CAL FIRE booth, but the message was clear none the less.

The Yucaipa event was followed by the San Bernardino City Fire Department open house on Saturday, October 3rd. The event was well attended and lots of fire prevention material for young and old was passed out. And as always, the fire engine was a big crowd pleaser.

This coming Saturday, October 9th, San Bernardino CAL FIRE personnel will be attending and supporting the MADD San Bernardino County Memorial Tribute and Community Awareness Event. This event will be held at Wildwood Park in San Bernardino at the corner of Waterman Avenue and 40th Street from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Out in the Yucca Valley area, CAL FIRE Firefighters are participating in three days of fire prevention efforts in cooperation with Home Depot.

With the coming time change from daylight savings to standard time, it is also time to think about changing the batteries in the smoke detectors in your home. To find our more facts about smoke detectors and home fires, go to the National Fire Prevention Association web site:

And even though we have had some wet weather, do not fall into the trap of thinking that the threat of wildfire is over for the year. Much of the vegetation remains dry and can readily burn. With the Santa Ana wind season just beginning, there is still a large potential for wildfire. We need your help in preventing wildfire when you are out in the wildland areas.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Annual Great California ShakeOut

October 21, 2010 at 10:21 a.m

“Drop, Cover and Hold On”

A Local ShakeOut Event is being put on by the San Bernardino County Museum

This event is free and museum entry fee is waived for attendees. Learn more by visiting or by calling (909) 307-2669 or TDD/TYY (909) 792-1462.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You are invited!

Yucaipa Community Center (link)
From 3-7pm on Sept 30, 2010


Friday, September 17, 2010

Fire Service Loss

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and Orange County Fire Authority over the sudden loss of firefighter/paramedic Jim Owen

Jim was a former CDF'r who chose to stay with the new Orange County Fire Department. Keith Richter shared these thoughts; Jimmy is remembered as a man of good humor who always had an outstretched hand. I want to share something said by Eleanor Roosevelt that sums up my impression of Jimmy Owens "The purpose of life it to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience". Thanks to Keith Richter for those thoughts. CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit couldn't agree more.

Firefighter/paramedic Jim Owens was 56 years old.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yucaipa's Old Fire Station Museum

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

M.A.S.T. Media Appreciation Event

The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit participated today in the MAST (Mountain Area Safety Taskforce) Media Appreciation Event. The event was to recognize the news media of the Inland Empire who are so important in getting the safety message out to the public. It was held at the historic Arrowhead Springs Resort
located at the entrance to Waterman Canyon.

MAST is a multi-agency organization that was originally formed in 2002 as a way to combat the bark beetle disaster in the San Bernardino Mountains. This unique group included federal, state and local fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and other state and local departments and agencies that had an involvement in dealing with the hundreds of thousands of dead and dying trees. These dead and dying trees posed a hazard for fire, roads, powerlines, homes and businesses.

Today's event brought those agencies together with members of the media from the Inland Empire and the San Bernardino Mountains. Among the topics discussed today were the revised standards for Red Flag Warnings, The approaching Santa Ana winds, their origin, how they got their name, and their destructive potential, recognizing potential illegal fire related activity and how to report it, Ready, Set, Go and the great California Shake Out .
There was also a demonstration by CAL FIRE Division Chief Doug Lannon on how to properly deploy a fire shelter. An added bonus for the attendees was a tour of the historic Arrowhead Springs Resort hotel. Once the 'in' place for Hollywood elite from the Golden era of Hollywood. A young 17 year old Elizabeth Taylor stayed there for her Honeymoon, Judy Garland was one of the opening night entertainers in 1939 and the pool was named for Esther Williams who frequented the hotel and shot some of her movies there.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Delay in the postings

We apologize for the delay in the postings; We encountered connection problems that have recently been fixed... Please check back often for current events going on in our unit.

Certificate of Recognition

Region forwarded San Bernardino Unit Chief Doug McKain this certificate from the City of Lancaster thanking all CAL FIRE personnel for their efforts on the Crown Valley Fire.
BDU appreciates the recognition; We're glad we could be of assistance.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Operation Santa Ana Begins

For the 11th consecutive year, the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit and Southern California Edison are partnering to reduce the threat of wildland fires caused by power line and power pole failures. This program is also conducted by other CAL FIRE units and fire departments in Southern California. Operation Santa Ana began in 2000 as a way to reduce vegetation fires that were caused when nature and electricity combined. These fires were caused by winds blowing tree limbs into the power lines, equipment failures that showered the ground with sparks igniting dry vegetation nearby, or faulty equipment that needed to be repaired or replaced.
Every year, CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Fire Prevention Officers team up with members of Edison to perform visual inspections of more than 5,000 power poles in San Bernardino County where CAL FIRE is responsible for fire protection. The two person teams patrol the lines looking for anything that could pose a fire hazard. The teams are checking to see that the clearance mandates of the Public Resources Code, sections 4292 and 4293 have had their annual compliance. PRC 4292 calls for a ground clearance of ten feet around the base and eight feet above the ground of power poles that contain equipment that could result in sparking if it failed. PRC 4293 says that vegetation needs to be a minimum of four feet away from high voltage lines. That means from beneath, the side, or above.

The program which began yesterday is expected to complete the first round of inspections by mid-September, just in time for the return of the Santa Ana winds. Re-inspections for any deficiencies that were reported during the first inspections are expected to be completed by the beginning of October. Since Operation Santa Ana began, there have been no large and damaging fires caused by power line or power pole failures in the San Bernardino County areas protected by CAL FIRE

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MIller Fire Final

The Miller fire that burned adjacent to the southern part of Lake Silverwood is 100% contained as of 6:00 PM this evening. Full control is planned for August 23rd. A total of 66 acres of State and federal land was burned in the fire. The investigation is continuing.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Busy Saturday for CAL FIRE San Bernardino

The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit had a very busy Saturday this past weekend. Firefighters and equipment were requested and attended two events held to recognize emergency service personnel for their efforts to serve and protect. One event was the San Bernardino City Neighborhood Watch program for the blocks of West 24th and 25th streets which held their annual block party. Along with the neighbors getting together and visiting, the residents there used the event to honor emergency services personnel.

This year, the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit was honored to be asked to attend the event to be recognozed by the residents there. Also included by the residents were the San Bernardino Police Explorers and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Explorers.
CAL FIRE San Bernardino was requested to send two fire engines to the event. What arrived, much to the happiness and interest of the residents were two Model 34 engines. The crews spent the late afternoon sharing with the residents, answering questions, displaying equipment, letting the children sit in the engines and dressing in their gear so the kids could see what the firefighters looked like up close. This was good for the small children who tend to be afraid of firefighters in their structure gear.
The crews handed out Smokey Bear comic books, coloring books and shared the dinner table with the local residents.
Another engine along with the bulldozer and transport were part of the Firefighter Appreciation Night festivities at the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale. This is the third consecutive year that the speedway has requested the CAL FIRE San Berdnardino Unit to participate in the event by providing equipment for the public to see.

Unfortunately, there was some serious work to be done as well. Eight people were killed and 12 injured while watching the California 200 off-road race in the Mojave Desert near Lucerne Valley. According to news reports, one vehicle crashed and rolled over after taking a jump at high speed. The vehicle crashed into the crowd which was very close to the track.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department was in charge but due to the high amount of fatalities and injuries, CAL FIRE also responded five fire engines and one battalion Chief to assist. The engines responded from Yucca Valley, Lucerne Valley, Hesperia, and Phelan. All of the CAL FIRE equipment was released by 12:20 AM this morning.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tour of Duty Running Team Stops at Station 543

Thursday evening August 12th, Highland Fire Station 543 had some special visitors. They were a running team from Tour of Duty on their way to New York. So who are these runners and what is the Tour of Duty...

The team that stopped by Station 543 were greeted by the firefighters from all three Highland Fire Stations along with battalion Chief Jeff Veik. As the team took a break and grabbed a quick shower, firefighter Brian Cali prepared a meal of hot dogs and hamburgers.

After the meal and a brief rest, the team whose members are from the Police and Fire Departments of Australia, Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York, hit the road at 9:00 PM (2100 hrs. for you military time buffs) headed for Victorville. The team plans to meet up with the other two teams that left the Santa Monica pier Thursday morning August 12th shortly before 9:00 AM.

It ws an honor to host if even for a few moments these firefighters and police officers who are giving of their time and expending the effort to keep the memory of those lost and injured in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit wishes the teams good fortune and easily running.
Thank you to Fire Caption Jason Marsh for the photos and the information.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NBC4 Health & Safety Fair

Los Angeles television station NBC4 held a health and safety fair for their employees on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. CAL FIRE San Bernardino was invited to participate in the event. CAL FIRE San Bernardino has a long running relationship with NBC4, having taught the News Media Fire Safety class there for the last five years.

The event ran from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and provided information for personal health, safety, and financial (retirement & investment) health and safety. There were also physical practitioners there providing spinal alignment checks, acupuncture relaxation, and hypnosis relaxation techniques.
CAL FIRE was the only public safety agency to attend the event. CAL FIRE had a little something for everyone, information for protecting and clearing your property, evacuation tips for home and pets, and Smokey Bear comics and coloring books for children at home. One person commented that they had been evacuated during the Station fire and took the sheet on evacuation tips saying that now they could be prepared if it ever happens again. One of the best things that happened was that CAL FIRE was the only one providing bags to carry all the things that were being given away. So at least for Tuesday, CAL FIRE bags could be seen all over the NBC4 lot.

The event was well attended by news personnel (NBC4 weatherman Fritz Coleman in photo) from NBC4 and Telemundo, their Spanish language affiliate along with other employees from the Burbank television operation there.