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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

CAL FIRE BDU teaches fire safety at ABC7

For three days last week, studio B at the ABC7 News Studios in Glendale was turned over to CAL FIRE BDU. What was going on? Fire safety was going on. Assistant Chief Doug Lannon and Information Officer Bill Peters were teaching the news staff how to be safe not only while covering wildland fires, but how to stay safe in the field in general. Lannon and Peters taught the same four hour class twice a day for three days. One hundred and thirteen members of the ABC7 news staff, reporters, assignment editors, producers, and videographers attended.
The class was developed in 2002 by Lannon and Peters as a way to deliver fire safety training to the news media on a large scale. The class is designed to go into the news operations and fit it to their needs in order to teach and inform the maximum number of personnel possible. The class includes training on news media and the law regarding 409.5 of the California Penal Code (the media access to disasters law), personal protective equipment, fire behavior, fire ground injuries, and fire ground safety including vehicle operations off road.

Since 2002, Lannon and Peters have taught this class or the 90-minute refresher class to every major news outlet in the Los Angeles television market. This program was designed to be a turn-key presentation and has been shared with other CAL FIRE Units throughout the state.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Director's Awards

Monday, June 21, 2010 was the first of three days of presentations of the annual CAL FIRE Director's awards. The awards are presented to CAL FIRE employees and outside cooperating agencies and civilians for superior performance and committment to the values of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The awards were presented by CAL FIRE Director Del Walters. Five CAL FIRE employees from the San Bernardino Unit received recognition for their efforts. One member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department was also recognized for her assistance and cooperation with CAL FIRE.
From left to right; awardees Firefighter Ben Hall, Information Officer Bill Peters, Assistant Chief Doug Lannon, Director Del Walters, awardees Battalion Chief Mike Sweeney, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Information Officer Jodi Miller, Battalion Chief Bart Chambers, and San Bernardino Unit Chief Doug McKain.

BDU Firefighters do some off road training

CAL FIRE fire engine operators participated recently in three one day classes in off road operations for the front line Model 34 four wheel drive fire engine. To date 54 model 34's have been delivered to CAL FIRE units throughout the state. The purpose of the day long training was to provide additional experience in the operating procedures and handling capabilities of the Model 34.

Following a morning session in the classroom and around the engine, it was on to practical application. All of the operators got real time practice in driving the Model 34's off road on a challenging course in the hills north of the Phelan station. Testing the engines on varying degrees of slopes, up and down, side hill driving and well as mobile pumping. The training really helped to improve the operational comfort level of all the fire engine operators in the Unit.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Firefighter receives JAC certificate

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Chief Doug McKain presented fire fighter Francis (Mo) Burkhart with his JAC completion certificate at a station ceremony on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. Burkhart is currently assigned to Yucaipa City Fire Station 553. CAL FIRE participates in the joint apprenticeship program with the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC). In 2010, CAL FIRE was one of 133 participating departments in the (CFFJAC).

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.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fires break out along highway 71

Firefighters responded to a vegetation fire this afternoon along the east side of highway 71 north of the highway 91 interchange. The Kennel fire was reported to CAL FIRE San Bernardino at 4:14 P.M. When the first fire engines arrived, they discovered that there were two fires. One was burning along highway 71 south of Euclid Avenue. The second blaze was burning in the Prado basin area also adjacent to highway 71,

More than 150 firefighters from CAL FIRE San Bernardino, Riverside CAL FIRE/County Fire, Chino Valley Fire, and Corona Fire responded to fight the fires. Nineteen fire engines, six hand crews, two water tenders, one bulldozer, and one helicopter fought the flames for about 90 minutes before containing the fires at 5:50 P.M.

Highway 71 was closed for a time in both directions. The southbound lanes were opened up around 4:20P.M. with the northbound lanes remaining closed until after 6:00 P.M. because of the firefighters and equipment that were working along side the roadway.

The two fires burned an estimated 17 acres total. No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported. The fire is expected to be controlled by 8:00 P.M. tonight. The cause of the fires is under investigation.

Region I Fire Chiefs meet at L.A. Fire Camp 2

Tuesday June 8, 2010 was more than just election day. It was also the annual CalEMA Region I Fire Chief's meeting. This annual meeting brings together fire chiefs from San Luis Obispo, Venture, Santa Barabara, Los Angeles and Orange counties. Cal Fire Unit Chiefs from Riverside and San Bernardino are also included because of the State Responsibility Land that Los Angeles and Orange counties are contracted to protect.

Tuesday's meeting topics included the 2010 fire season outlook, an update on CalEMA ( California Emergency Management Agency), updates from the different areas in Region I and a news conference. The news conference featured speakers from L.A. Co. Fire, The USFS, CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire and San Bernardino Unit Chief Doug McKain. The news conference is held to provide the public with information about the upcoming high fire hazard period, the preperations of the fire service, and to call the residents of California to be prepared for the wildfire that will come.

Chief Doug McKain addressed the news conference regarding the SOLAR Program and the recent Tonner Canyon exercise that was held to test the SOLAR radio response plan. The news conference was attended by more than a dozen members of the Los Angeles media.

Friday, June 4, 2010

CAL FIRE BDU Participates in Tonner Canyon Drill

Fire crews from four counties and a variety of local cities participated in fire preparedness drills in Tonner Canyon. Tonner Canyon, located across the borders of Los Angeles and Orange counties is ground zero in the mutual threat zone for these four counties and neighboring cities such as Diamond Bar, Chino Hills, Corona, and Brea. A fire in Tonner Canyon poses a threat to all four counties and nearby communities. This area provides a variety of wildland terrain and vegetation to train in. One of the main objectives of this year’s exercises was to test the SOLAR communications plan.

What is SOLAR? SOLAR stands for San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside Multi-County Mutual Threat Zone. This plan was developed in part as a response to the 2008 Freeway fire. SOLAR is primarily a unified communications plan. In the past, numerous fire departments responding to fire reports in that general area were using multiple radio frequencies and weren’t immediately able to talk with other responding departments. Today, thanks to the SOLAR communications plan, those same departments rolling into the same areas now do so utilizing a pre-set group of common radio frequencies. This allows for a unified response and more rapid coordination of arriving fire resources and fire fighting efforts.

This year’s Tonner Canyon scenario involved an initial attack response to a call of a vegetation fire in Tonner Canyon by the City of Brea Fire Department. Upon their arrival, the scenario expanded the fire to both sides of the canyon. Utilizing the SOLAR communications plan, the additional responding resources from the four counties and surrounding cities were able, utilizing the common radio frequencies to quickly establish staging areas and multi-agency aircraft operations. As the exercise grew, fire resources such as engines and crews were able to respond to the immediate areas of need.

The goal of the exercise was to test the communication plan along with the preparedness of the fire fighters and their ability to work together. The exercises were conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, June 1,2,and 3, 2010.