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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chief Rod Bywater Reports for Duty

Today was the official start date for Chief Rod Bywater, the new Deputy Chief for the San Bernardino Unit. Chief Bywater returns to the San Bernardino Unit after several years working and advancing in the nearby CAL FIRE Riverside Unit.

Unit Chief Tim McClelland gives the oath of office to New Deputy Chief Rod Bywater

Chief McClelland congratulates his new Deputy Chief. Welcome aboard Chief Bywater.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Smuggling Illegal Fireworks can Lead to Serious Jail Time

As the Fourth of July approaches, plans are being made not for celebrations, but on how illegal or misguided entrepreneurs can make a fast profit by smuggling illegal fireworks into California. Many of these illegal fireworks are purchased in neighboring Nevada where they are legal. The problem begins when the fireworks cross into California. Already, the California Highway Patrol has confiscated thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks on the way to California communities.

Many people do not understand how few fireworks need to be in your possession to constitute a felony. Any amount that exceeds 100 pounds gross weight (that includes packaging) can be prosecuted as a felony. The penalty for conviction can be up to one year in state prison or county jail and fines of $5,000 to $10,000. Less than one hundred pounds of illegal fireworks can bring a misdemeanor conviction with up to a year in jail and $1,000 to $5,000 in fines. Something as simple as a mortar and eight re-load shells constitutes one pound new weight pyrotechnic composition. Even a simple out-of-state purchase for personal use brought into California would be subject to penalties of jail time and large fines.

CAL FIRE in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies will continue their efforts to reduce the smuggling of illegal fireworks into California. They will also seek the strongest penalties provided by the law for those who are caught and convicted. "These types of fireworks are dangerous and destructive and have no place in California" said CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Fire Prevention Chief Bart Chambers. "If you must use fireworks, use only State Fire Marshal Approved Safe and Sane fireworks in areas approved for their use" said Chief Chambers.

For more information regarding fireworks log on to the State Fire Marshal's web site at

Friday, June 17, 2011

Round-Up Fire - Letter of Appreciation

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 Fire Season Opening News Conference

Today in Diamond Bar, California, State, Federal, and Local fire departments came together to discuss the 2011 fire season. The fire officials shared important information regarding the wildfire potential for this year. Resources and staffing were also discussed. After the meeting, the chiefs conducted a news conference to discuss the results of the meeting. The chief also used this time to remind citizens of their responsibility in making their property defensible.

Acting CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott talks with Associated Press Reporter

Several Chief Officers spoke at the news conference including Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, CAL FIRE Acting Director Ken Pimlott, Venture County Fire Chief Bob Roper, Chief Jim Hall from the USFS/Angeles National Forest and CAL FIRE Southern Region Chief Dale Hucthinson

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Firefighters get ready for 15th Annual Wildland Training

For the 25th consecutive year, firefighters from fire departments throughout the San Bernardino valley will be participating in the San Bernardino County Fire Training Officers' Association's wildland training exercise. The training focuses on wildland urban interface fire operations including structure defense techniques, resource utilization, equipment deployment, structure triage, safety, communications, and tactical priorities. The training includes a realistic 4-hour training exercise. This type of training is an excellent example of regionalized integrated fire service operations.

When faced with a wildfire, firefighters employ a technique called "bump and run". This is where a strike team of five fire engines will enter a threatened or burning neighborhood and deploy at five consecutive homes. The fire engine backs into the driveway of a home and firefighters quickly assess their surroundings. If the home has defensible space and firefighters feel it can be defended, they deploy hoses and work to push the approaching flames around the to the next home. They return to their engine and move to the next home furthest down the line and so on. This leapfrogging allows firefighters to protect a larger number of homes with a smaller amount of resources.

The training is designed for engine company personnel and Strike Team/Task Force leaders. "This training is an important annual event and allows our local firefighters to train together in a realistic environment, sharpening their skills in preparation for the upcoming high fire hazard months of summer and fall" said CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Chief Tim McClelland.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

California Sends Aerial Firefighting Aircraft to Assist With Arizona Wildfire

One of the nation's only DC-10 Very Large Airtankers is being deployed from California to assist in fighting the raging wildland fire in Arizona. The request was made yesterday, June 8, 2011 by the United States Forest Service. The aircraft, Tanker 911, took off at 7:35 A.M. this morning from its base in Victorville.

The Forest Service is accessing the DC-10 through a call when needed contract CAL FIRE has with 10 Tanker, the company that operates the only two DC-10 Very Large Airtankers in the world. During peak fire season, CAL FIRE has an exclusive use contract with 10 Tanker to enhance its aerial firefighting fleet. The DC-10 aerial firefighting aircraft made its firefighting debut in 2006 on the Sawtooth fire in San Bernardino County.

The DC-10's operate with a flight crew of three, a pilot, co-pilot and a flight engineer. The tanker works with a lead plane and can be an effective tool in combating wildfires when working directly with ground resources. The DC-10 firefighting aircraft are fitted with three external tanks that are mounted along the centerline of the plane. Together, the tanks hold 50 tons of water or retardant. The tanker can drop as much as 12,000 U.S. gallons of retardant in as little as eight seconds through its computerized gravity fed water dump system. It is used primarily to lay down long lines of retardant.

"California is no stranger to wildfires and Arizona was one of many states that sent assistance to help us during the devastating 2008 lightning fire siege," said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE acting director. "We are grateful that our relationship with 10 Tanker enables us to assist our neighbors during their time of need".

Aerial firefighting resources are one of many tools available to Incident Commanders to fight wildfires when and where the aircraft can be effective.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rod Bywater selected as new Deputy Chief

Newly appointed San Bernardino Unit Chief Tim McClelland has announced the selection of the Unit’s new Deputy Chief, Rod Bywater. “Chief Bywater is a very experienced firefighter and leader. I am pleased that he is returning to the San Bernardino Unit. His leadership abilities will be a great asset to the Unit” said Chief McClelland. Chief Bywater returns to the San Bernardino Unit from his current position as the Northwest Division and Norco Conservation Camp Division Chief in the Riverside Unit.

Chief Bywater’s 25 year career began in 1986 as a seasonal firefighter in the Riverside Unit. In 1989 he promoted to Fire Apparatus Engineer where he worked a number of fire station assignments. His promotion in 1994 to Captain brought Chief Bywater to the San Bernardino Unit where he worked at the Prado Conservation Camp in Chino. From there, he moved into the Emergency Command Center. Following that, he returned to the Riverside Unit where he worked as an engine and truck company captain.

In 2001, he was promoted to Battalion Chief in the Riverside Unit. His assignments included the Mountain Battalion where he had the opportunity to participate in the Riverside County MAST (Mountain Area Safety Taskforce) program. Chief Bywater promoted to his current position of Division Chief in 2008. “I am excited to be returning to the San Bernardino Unit and look forward to working with the unit’s personnel and local area fire departments” said Chief Bywater.