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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CAL FIRE in the Communities

Monday, August 27, 2012

CAL FIRE BDU Promotes Two New Battalion Chiefs

Shawn Newman has been promoted to the Chino Institute for Women/Battalion 5 position and Chris Hardy has been promoted to the Owens Valley Relief Battalion Chief position.

Chief Newman began his career with CAL FIRE in 1990 at the Owens Valley Station in the Inyo-Mono-San Bernardino Unit and spent time at Yucaipa, Hesperia, San Antonio and Lucerne Valley Fire Stations. In 1994, Shawn was promoted to Firefighter II in the Riverside Unit where he worked at Rubidoux and Glen Avon for seven Years. Shawn then was selected to work at the Beaumont Forest Fire Station as an LT Engineer before taking a permanent position at the Highgrove Fire Station. He also served assignments at the French Valley and Woodcrest Fire Stations before promoting to Fire Captain at the Norco Conservation Camp.

During his five years at Norco Camp he was assigned to lead the Norco Training Center which is responsible for coordination, syllabus writing and instruction in all aspects of fire control. Shawn transferred to the Bautista Conservation Camp in March of 2011 where he has been working up until accepting this promotion to Limited Term Battalion Chief in the Inyo-Mono-San Bernardino Unit at the CIW Training Center located in Chino. His new position oversees the crucial training and course administration for the female inmate firefighter conservation camp program in California.

Chief Chris Hardy started his career in 1992 as a Volunteer Firefighter in Riverside County. During this time Chris attended San Diego State University where in 1997 he earned a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. In the summer of 1998 he accepted a seasonal firefighter position with the San Bernardino National Forest on the San Jacinto Ranger District. From 1998 to 2007 he remained on the San Jacinto District working at the Kenworthy, Cabazon, Cranston and Anza stations, during which time he promoted to the rank of Captain.

In 2007 Chris accepted a position as an Limited Term Firefighter II at the Winchester Station in Riverside County where he received his Hazmat Technician certification and worked on both the engine company and Hazmat 34 unit. In 2008 Chris came to the Inyo-Mono-San Bernardino Unit as an open list Fire Captain and was appointed to a position at the Prado Conservation Camp. For the past two years he has worked as the relief Captain on Helicopter 305 out of Prado Helitack Base.

Think Fire Safety for your Labor Day Holiday

As people head out for the last three day weekend of the summer, the thoughts of rest, relaxation, and fun need to also include thoughts of fire safety. As we have witnessed over the last few weeks, the California wildland is tender dry and more than ready to burn. The last month has seen a high number of days of 100 degrees or greater with the other days in the 90’s. This type of weather, combined with low humidities makes fire starts increasing possible. CAL FIRE officials report that live fuel moistures are critical, and near historically low levels. That is why it is so important to be prepared for fire safety as well as weekend fun.

The weather that we have been experiencing is perfect for increasing the variety of ways that a wildland fire can be started. Many of these potential fire starters are used by people who are relaxing and enjoying the rural areas of Inyo, Mono counties, the Inland Empire and Southern California. CAL FIRE Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino Unit Fire Prevention Battalion Chief Preston Fouts says “while having fun in the outdoors with family and friends it is vitality important to safe guard this time through fire safe thinking and actions. Giving some thought to where you are and what you are doing can help to prevent fires from accidentally being started.” Chief Fouts adds; “people who negligently cause a fire can be held liable for the cost of suppressing the fire.”

To assist people in having a safe time out doors, CAL FIRE has some tips on how to be fire safe;

Camping Safety - Recreational Vehicles:
Use only electric or battery-operated lights in RV’s
Clean and maintain appliances, gas connections and fume vents
When using propane appliances, light the match before turning on gas
Place portable heaters away from combustibles
Do not block exit ways
Extinguish smoking materials before going to sleep
Teach children to operate emergency escape hatches.
Keep a fire extinguisher by the exit door and install a battery operated smoke detector
Prepare and practice a fire escape plan
In case of fire while driving, turn off the ignition and evacuate the vehicle. Watch for traffic and traffic hazards while doing so.

Camping Safety – Tents:
Use only flame resistant tents
Clear a 3 foot area around tent site
Keep lanterns and open flames outside tent
Keep a fire extinguisher inside tent
Extinguish fires and turn off lanterns and stoves before going to sleep
Be prepared to cut your way out of the tent if fire occurs

Camping Safety – Campfires:
Obtain any necessary permits needed for campfires
Put campfire a safe distance from tents, trees, vehicles and buildings
Scrape away grass, pine needles and other debris within a 10-foot perimeter of the campfire
Be sure campfire is out before leaving the area
Wear snug fitting clothing around campfires
Supervise children CLOSELY around campfires
Teach everyone to STOP, DROP and ROLL

Camping Safety – Flammable Liquids:
Use flammable liquids for intended purposes only
Fill lanterns and stoves away from heat sources
Use a funnel and clean up any spills immediately
Store flammable liquids outside, away from tent or RV
Store flammable liquids in approved metal safety can
Transport only minimal amounts in well-ventilated area

BBQ Safety: (Source: National Fire Protection Association)
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
Declare the entire grill area a “kid-free zone” until the grill has completely cooled off.
Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when flipping burgers.
If you have a charcoal grill, purchase the proper starter fluid and store the can out of reach of children, and away from heat sources. Wait for the charcoal to completely cool and then dispose of the coals in a metal container.
If you have a propane grill, check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles. Have leaking fuel lines repaired before using.
All propane cylinders manufactured after April 2002 must have overfill protection devices (OPDs). OPDs shut off the flow of propane before capacity is reached, limiting the potential for release of propane gas if the cylinder heats up. OPDs are easily identified by their triangular-shaped hand wheel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Surviving the HEAT!!!

It sure is hot! And with the summer heat comes the potential for heat related illnesses. Heat not only affects humans, but if affects animals as well. The CAL FIRE Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino Unit and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to provide you, your loved ones, and even your pets with some tips on how to stay safe in the heat. CAL FIRE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the best prevention for heat related illness is PREVENTION.

· Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
· Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
· Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
· Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
· Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
· NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
· Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
o Infants and young children
o People aged 65 or older
o People who have a mental illness
o Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
· Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:
· Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
· Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
· Try to rest often in shady areas.
· Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

Animals can also suffer from the heat. To keep them safe, follow these tips from the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals;

Made in the Shade Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it's hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it's extremely hot.

Know the Warning Signs Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, should be kept cool in air conditioned rooms as much as possible.

No Parking! Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. "On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke.”

Summer Style Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs' coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.

Street Smarts When the temperature is very high don't let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch's body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Summer heat is survivable if you follow these simple safety suggestions. Think safety first no matter what you are doing for you, your loved ones, and your pets.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

CAL FIRE Issues Statewide Burn Ban

California’s increased fire activity, coupled with the current weather forecast for continued heightened fire danger, has prompted CAL FIRE to suspend all burning permits and open fire within the State Responsibility Area of California. The Burn Ban suspends all residential burn permits, forest management, hazard abatement, and other industrial-type permitted burning within the 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area.

“Over 8,000 CAL FIRE, local and federal firefighters are on the frontlines of nearly a dozen major wildfires that are burning across California,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE Director. “With conditions being so dry, we need to take every step possible to prevent new wildfires from starting.”

Campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property are allowed if they are in a designated campfire site that prevents fire from spreading outside the site. The burning suspension will remain in effect until there is a significant change in weather conditions or until the end of fire season.

The last two years have been relatively light for wildfires due in part to favorable weather patterns, but this year California has experienced an increase in fires statewide. Historically, the fall months are when the largest and most damaging wildfires occur, so CAL FIRE is urging residents to do their part to be fire safe during this critical time and to make sure they have prepared an emergency plan in case a fire threatens their home or family.

Here are some tips all citizens can use to prevent wildfires:
Do Defensible Space clearing before 10 a.m. and never on a hot and windy day.
DON’T toss cigarettes out your car window.
Don’t pull off into dry grass or brush. Hot exhaust pipes and mufflers can start fires that can’t be seen easily by the driver.
Check with local officials for additional fire restrictions. Check with local officials for additional fire restrictions
In wildland areas, spark arresters are required on all portable gasoline powered equipment. This includes tractors, chainsaws, weedeaters, mowers, motorcycles and All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Report any suspicious activity. Call the CAL FIRE Arson Hotline: 1-800-468-4408.

Nearly ninety-five percent of all wildland fires within CAL FIRE’s jurisdiction are human-caused and CAL FIRE is asking the public to do their part in preventing wildfires. For more fire safety tips visit or the CAL FIRE website at

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Letter of Appreciation