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

Friday, July 27, 2012

News Media Fire Safety Class is 10 Years Old

Ten years ago, the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit rolled out a specially created program to provide fire safety training to the news media. The program evolved from the practice of having news media days at fire facilities where a few news media people would receive training to the current program. The current program was designed to take real training to the news media in order to actually provide safety training to the maximum number of news personnel possible.

The first location that the class was provided was at Los Angeles television station KTLA, channel 5. From that time, the class has been taught at least once at nearly every television station, news radio station and news paper in the Los Angeles news market. To date more than 1,000 members of the news media, reporters, videographers, news editors, producers and news management have participated in the training.

This year, the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit has provided first time and refresher training to Fox News Channel, NBC4 and ABC7. In these training classes, more than 300 news professionals have received the training. The training at ABC7 was conducted this week and more than 150 members of the news staff participated in the three days of fire safety training.

This training is not only important from a safety standpoint which is paramount, but is also provides education that allows the reporters to provide better and more accurate information in their news reports regarding fires and what they can do.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fire In Chino

Here is a link to a story regarding the Euclid fire Wednesday, July 18 2012 in the Redlands Daily Facts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vacation Time means Hotel and Motel Safety

With the hot summer months comes wildfire awareness and planning for the “what ifs” regarding if the fire breaks out near our homes and property. Are you READY… for the possibility of an approaching wildfire? Are you SET… do you have a family communications and escape plan and an emergency supply kit? Are you ready and set to GO… have you practiced your escape plan and do you know what to do if you are trapped? For the answers to these questions, you can go to

However, the hot summer months also means vacations and vacations many times means spending time at hotels, motels and resorts. You still need to be prepared for the possibility of fire. The Unites States Fire Administration reports that there are an estimated 3,900 hotel and motel fires reported throughout the United States each year. CAL FIRE San Bernardino-Inyo-Mono Unit Chief Tim McClelland says “when you stay in a hotel or motel it is important to maintain fire safety for you and your family by becoming familiar with your surroundings and making sure that everyone knows the escape routes.”

Here are some suggestions from the U. S. Fire Administration and CAL FIRE:
· When making your reservations, ask if the hotel or motel has smoke alarms and an automatic fire sprinkler system.
· When traveling, take a flashlight with you.
· Read the fire evacuation plan carefully. If one is not posted in your room, request one from the front desk.
· Locate the two exits nearest your room.
· Count the number of doors between your room and the exits. This will assist you if there is an emergency evacuation.
· Locate the fire alarms on your floor.

Chief McClelland also says, “Taking just a few moments when you arrive at your hotel or motel to learn the fire safety information can be a life saver later on.” The U. S. Fire Administration and CAL FIRE also have some life safety tips for your vacation hotel or motel.
· Never smoke in bed. Statistics show that nationwide there is an average of 365 deaths and 925 injuries from fires related to smoking in bed.
· If there is a fire in your room, get out quickly. Close the door, sound the alarm and notify the front desk.
· Always use a stairwell, never an elevator. The elevator could stop at the floor of the fire.
· If the fire is not in your room, leave if it is safe to do so. Be sure to take your room key with you in case the fire blocks your escape and your need to re-enter your room.
· To check the hallway for fire, touch the door with the back of your hand to test the temperature. If the door is cool, get low to the floor, brace your shoulder against the door and open it slowly. Be ready to close it quickly if there are flames on the other side. Crawl low in the smoke to the nearest exit; the freshest air is near the floor.
· If your room is hot, do not open it. Instead, seal the door with wet towels or sheets. Turn off the fan, heater, and air conditioner. Call the fire department to give your location. Signal from your window.

It is always important no matter what you are doing or where you are; take a few minutes to be fire wise in order to be fire safe.

Monday, July 9, 2012

CAL FIRE BDU Promotes two new Division Chiefs

The CAL FIRE San Bernardino-Inyo-Mono Unit's Pilot Rock and Owens Valley Conservation Camps have new Chiefs. Battalion Chief Jeff Veik and Battalion Chief John Paul Melendrez are now both Division Chiefs and have assumed their new positions affective today. Chief Veik has taken over at the Pilot Rock Camp located near the San Bernardino Mountain community of Crestline, California. Chief Melendrez is the new boss at the Owens Valley Camp near the community of Bishop in Inyo County, California.

Division Chief John Paul Melendrez

Division Chief Jeffery Veik

Both men have extensive careers with CAL FIRE and have worked their way through the ranks to their present positions. Chief Veik has served for years on CAL FIRE Incident Management Teams while Chief Melendrez has been involved with the CAL FIRE Firefighters Association.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Smokey Bear and the 4th of July

For the third consecutive year The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit was asked to provide Smokey Bear for the City of Rosemead's 4th of July Parade. Smokey, as popular as any celebrity posed with several people before he even hit the parade route. Parade watchers called Smokey's Name and waved to him as he traveled the one and a half mile parade route. Smokey has become a popular part of the Rosemead 4th of July parade.

Smokey posing with the ladies of Disneyland

Smokey hi-fives with Ronald McDonald

Smokey on the parade route

Monday, July 2, 2012

CAL FIRE Concludes Illegal Fireworks Interdiction Operation

Early this morning (July 02, 2012) CAL FIRE concluded a multi-agency operation designed to prevent illegal fireworks from entering California. The two part operation resulted in the confiscation of over thirteen thousand pounds of illegal fireworks. “There is no excuse for breaking the law when it comes to fireworks. Illegal fireworks and pyrotechnics can cause devastating injuries and damage to property” said Tonya Hoover, California State Fire Marshal. Two families in San Bernardino found that out early Sunday morning, July 01-2012 when their duplex was destroyed by a fire reportedly caused by illegal fireworks.

The interdiction operations were conducted at the California Agricultural checkpoints in Yermo (north of Barstow), Needles, in the community of Shoshone and the Death Valley area. The coordinated multi-agency operation resulted in five felony arrests including one for driving under the influence, 46 misdemeanor arrests and numerous citations for vehicle code violations. During the operation, officers made a total of 170 contacts. The operation also led to the execution of a search warrant in the City of Los Angeles where a large amount of illegal fireworks were believed to be stored.

“This is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when cooperating agencies work together to prevent illegal activities and protect public safety” said Hoover. The agencies that cooperated with CAL FIRE law enforcement officers included the California Agricultural Checkpoints at Yermo and Needles, The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Inyo

County Sheriff’s Department, Inyo County District Attorney’s Office, CHP offices in Bishop and
Barstow, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, San Bernardino County Fire Department, United States Forest Service, Southern Inyo Fire Protection District, and the Caltrans Shoshone Office.

State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover said “one thing is for certain; the fireworks that have been confiscated will not start a disastrous wildfire, set a home on fire or send a young child to the emergency room.” Remember, illegal fireworks are just that, illegal.

Safe and sane fireworks are to only be used in approved localities. The public needs to understand that it is illegal to transport, possess, use or store even safe and sane fireworks in communities and rural areas that don’t allow their use. Safe and sane does not mean
non-dangerous. According to statistics from the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission more than 50% of fireworks injuries in 2011 were due to the inappropriate use of fireworks. The CPSC also says that the vast majority of injuries are caused by fireworks that are illegal in California. Be fire safe by being fire smart and have a safe Fourth of July.