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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fire Crews participate in annual training exercises

They’ve trained and planned, and exercised in order to be successful this week. The fire crews from the four CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit conservation camps are participating in the annual fire preparedness exercises. The crews have been training for weeks in order to prove their efficiency and readiness to face wildland fires this year.

The crews are attending the exercises over four days; April 30 and May 1, 2, and 3, 2012. A different number of crews are scheduled to participate each day. The crews come from Fenner, Pilot Rock, Prado and Owens Valley Camps.

The day begins as their crew buses roll up to the tool out area. The crews dismount from their vehicles in the same manner that they would were they on an actual fire. After obtaining their tools, they form a line and check their tools. They are then inspected from head to toe for proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Then their back packs are inspected to make sure that they are carrying the proper equipment. During the inspection, the individual crew members are asked different fire safety questions.

Following the tool out inspection, they are off on a three mile timed hike. From there the crews get a few minutes to rest and hydrate then it is off in the brush cutting a minimum of three hundred feet of four foot wide fireline through vegetation that is thick and up to five feet high. There is history where they are working, the vary ground that they are cutting line on burned in 2003. This is the area of the Grand Prix fire that burned from Lytle Creek in San Bernardino County into the city of Claremont in Los Angeles County.

Following the fireline cutting, the crews hike down the face of the foothills to practice fire shelter deployment. The final training event of the day is a one thousand foot progressive hose lay, testing the crew’s ability to work together in a fast paced stressful environment.

This annual training is supported by CAL FIRE and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This cooperative program has been helping to protect the people, property, and natural resources of California since the mid-1940’s. Every year, the over four thousand inmates from the CDCR provide hundreds of thousands of hours of emergency response and fire fighting as well as community service and support under the direction of CAL FIRE Crew Captains.