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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.