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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CAL FIRE Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Make Halloween a fun and safe night for trick-or-treaters

Halloween is a fun and exciting time of year, but it is also an important time to practice fire and personal safety. The occurrence of fire increases around Halloween due to the use of candles as decorations. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Halloween decorations are the cause of over 1,000 homes fires each year. CAL FIRE would like to remind parents and trick or treaters to practice a few simple safety precautions.


• Purchase costumes made of flame resistant or retardant material. Fire resistant does not mean fire proof.

• Apply reflective tape to Halloween costumes.

• Consider using make-up instead of masks which can obstruct vision.

• Avoid loose and baggy sleeves. Stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric.

• Keep hemlines short enough to prevent tripping.


• Light jack-o-lanterns with a battery powered light – NEVER use candles!

• Instruct children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.

• Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources including light bulbs and heaters.

• Keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.


• Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult.

• If driving, be sure to watch for trick-or-treaters who are too busy to watch for you.

• Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting and visibility.

• Do not allow children to carry sharp sticks or other objects that could cause injury to others.

• Keep your yard free of tripping hazards, such as tools, hoses, etc

Remember to closely inspect all candy before allowing children to eat it, discarding any unwrapped treats. If in doubt, throw it out!

CAL FIRE wishes all Californians a safe and enjoyable Halloween! For more Halloween fire safety ideas and tips, please visit the CAL FIRE website at

Monday, October 29, 2012

CAL FIRE Firefighters rescue homeowner

Firefighters responding to a report of a structure fire in the city of Highland, California this morning were able to remove an unconscious elderly man from the home located at 6644 Robinson Road. The structure fire call was received at 10:03 with the first fire engines arriving on scene at 10:09 A.M.

The single family structure had light smoke venting through the turbines on the roof. Firefighters had been advised at the time of the call that there was an elderly person inside. As they approached the home, they found a security front door. Firefighters from the city of Highland and San Manuel Fire Department then used a nearby bedroom window to enter the home.

The firefighters searched the home and found the resident unconscious on the kitchen floor. They also discovered something burned and smoldering on the kitchen stove. They quickly removed the smoldering material from the stove while other firefighters removed the patient from the home. Firefighter paramedics attended to the patient who was then transported to Saint Bernadine Medical Center in San Bernardino. The condition of the patient was undetermined

Firefighters reported that when they entered the home through the bedroom window, the home was full of smoke and a smoke alarm was activated. Firefighters helped to evacuate the smoke from the home. Firefighters from the city of Highland, San Bernardino City and San Manuel responded to the fire.

Time change, A Reminder That Can Save Lives

Reminding you to set your clocks back this November 4, 2012 also gives the CAL FIRE San Bernardino, Inyo, Mono Unit the opportunity to stress the importance of changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The few moments taken to make this change could save lives. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to ten years. However, CAL FIRE urges you to use the time change as a reminder to check your detectors and alarms to make sure that they are working and if need be, change the battery or the detector.

In the United States, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with inoperable or no smoke alarms present. On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. This fact tells the importance of having functioning alarms in your home, giving you and your family the opportunity to receive the benefits the devices were designed to provide.

Households with non-working smoke alarms outnumber those with no smoke alarms. It really is as simple as changing the devices batteries once a year to prevent potential injury and/or death to yourself, family members and friends. Placing new batteries into your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is a very inexpensive form of life insurance. Be an advocate for your family, friends and neighbors, change your batteries and pass the message on throughout your community.

“The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are asleep,” says CAL FIRE San Bernardino Deputy Unit Chief Rod Bywater. According to CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Fire Prevention Battalion Chief Preston Fouts, “Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. Children and senior citizens are most at risk and a working smoke alarm can provide the extra life saving seconds they need to get out safely.” For more fire safety information please visit .

Friday, October 26, 2012

State Provides Fire Prevention Fee Information Resources

As the State’s Fire Prevention Fee continues to be implemented, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is providing property owners multiple resources to answer their questions about the new fee. This outreach effort is being implemented as a result of Assembly Bill X1 29, which was signed into law July 7, 2012 establishing a fee for fire prevention services in the 31 million acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA).

Earlier this year the Department established a website,, which contains comprehensive information about the fee and helpful links to maps, the law language, and answers frequently asked questions. Additionally, a customer service call center is staffed Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays) to further aid homeowners that have questions about the Fire Prevention Fee. The call center number is 1-888-310-6447.

The revenue generated from the fee pays for fire prevention services within the SRA. Fire prevention services funded by the fee include brush clearance around communities, fire break construction, defensible space inspections, fire prevention engineering, emergency evacuation planning, fire prevention education, fire hazard severity mapping, implementation of the State’s Fire Plan (, and fire related law enforcement activities such as fire cause determination and arson investigation.

Under the law, the Board of Equalization (BOE) is responsible for collecting the fee. The BOE began mailing the bills alphabetically by county on August 13,

Sixth Anniversary of the Esperanza Fire

Esperanza fire engine 57  Today is the sixth anniversary of the Esperanza arson fire that would ultimately result in the deaths of five United States Forest Service Firefighters. Jason McKay, Jess McLean, Daniel Najera, Mark Loutzenhiser, and Pablo Cerda were killed as their position was burned over by the fast moving flames.

As we find ourselves facing another Santa Ana wind event, we remember their sacrifice as well as how dangerous fire fighting is.  Please join with us in remembering these fallen firefighters and their families.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Strong Winds Prompt CAL FIRE to Increase Staffing

With gusty dry winds forecast for Southern California, CAL FIRE has increased its staffing and is urging the public to be extra cautious. The Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning throughout much of Southern California starting Thursday night for high winds with gusts of 60 mph along with low humidity lasting through Saturday.

“Though much of Northern and Central California have received significant rain, Southern California remains very dry and the potential for large fires still exists,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “We will have extra firefighters and equipment available to respond to new wildfires during this wind event, but we are reminding residents to be extremely cautious while outdoors in order to help prevent accidental wildfires from starting.”

CAL FIRE has increased its preparedness by staffing additional fire engines, bulldozers, fire crews, and aircraft. These state resources will be positioned strategically to allow for rapid response into communities and watershed areas that may be affected by a fast moving wildfire. The increased staffing includes the county fire departments of Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange, who CAL FIRE contracts with for fire protection of State Responsibility Area.

CAL FIRE urges everyone to exercise extreme caution when in or near the wildland or open areas to prevent a fire. A few helpful reminders and safety tips include:

• Don’t mow or weed eat dry grass on windy days

• Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely when done

• Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal targets

• Be extra careful with all powered equipment outdoors including chainsaws, tractors and welders

• Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on NO Burn Days or when its windy

The public is encouraged to review “Ready, Set, Go” procedures when it comes to preparing for a wildfire at

For more ways to help prevent and prepare for wildfires: or

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CAL FIRE Cares Enough to Wear Pink

Firefighters show support for battle against cancer

Sacramento – Across California residents may notice something a bit different on the uniform of firefighters, dispatchers and employees of CAL FIRE; a large pink ribbon. CAL FIRE is joining fire and police departments across the nation by participating in the 2012 national “Cares Enough to Wear Pink" campaign October 21 - 27, 2012.

The campaign raises awareness and money for cancer research and is part of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when wearing pink signifies support for breast cancer research.

“Cancer is a terrible disease that affects so many people including firefighters,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “I’m proud that we are able to take such a small step to raise awareness for such an important cause.”

Proceeds from the T-shirt sales generated by CAL FIRE’s employee's voluntary participation are being donated to cancer related non-profit organizations.

CAL FIRE is one of the largest fire departments in the nation and the over 7,000 men and women of the department have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to this worthwhile effort by voluntarily joining in on the "caring enough to wear pink" campaign. CAL FIRE is proud to help raise funds to find a cure and send a strong message of hope to those suffering from this disease.

Burn Suspension Lifted in Inyo and Mono Counties

Officials from the San Bernardino, Inyo, Mono Unit of CAL FIRE have lifted the special burn suspension in Inyo and Mono counties effective 6:oo a.m. on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. Fire Prevention Battalion Chief Preston Fouts says “outdoor burning will once again be allowed until weather conditions require the burn suspension to be reinstituted.” According to Chief Fouts, each request for a burn permit will be accompanied with a physical inspection of the property. There will also be special instructions placed on the permits such as; extra clearance, making sure that there is a charged water source immediately available and tools are at hand. “While there is always the possibility of wildland fire, we want to allow residents in those areas that are able to burn to do so and thereby reduce any dead cut and piled vegetation that can become a fire hazard in itself. With the personal inspections prior to the issuance of the burn permit and cooperating weather, we feel confident that with the property owners as partners in prevention with CAL FIRE, we can reduce some of the current fire potential” said Deputy Unit Chief Rod Bywater.

The special restrictions that remain in Inyo and Mono Counties regarding opening fires include:

1. Use of campfires is restricted to within established campfire facilities located in established campgrounds open to the public.

2. Cooking fires with a valid permit are permissive when no alternate means of cooking is available and requires an on-site inspection prior to the issuance of a permit.

3. Warming fires with a valid permit are permissive and require an on-site inspection prior to the issuance of a permit when weather conditions exist to justify the request.

4. Burn permits issued to property owners for their parcels will have been inspected to ensure adequate clearance and prevention guidelines to reduce the risk of uncontrolled fires.

5. Project burn permits will continue to be reviewed as set forth by the Unit and local CAL FIRE Chief Officer in that area.

It is important for every property owner to maintain their 100 foot clearance (or to the property line) of their properties. To find out more about how to fire safe your homes and property you can contact your local fire department, CAL FIRE or go to the CAL FIRE web site at or

Thursday, October 18, 2012

CAL FIRE and CAL TRANS working together

 CAL FIRE crews from Fenner Conservation Camp and Pilot Rock Conservation Camp are spending the day clearing away overgrown vegetation and debris from the southbound lanes of State Highway 18.  Six crews are clearing a roadside area from a mile above the Old Waterman Canyon Road turnoff to the Highway 18 Sierra Way split.  This combined effort will reduce the fire start potential by removing dead and decadent vegetation from immediately adjacent to the roadway.  CAL FIRE crews regularly perform this type of highway roadside clearing with CAL TRANS.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Zone Of Infestation Declared for Goldspotted Oak Borer

The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has adopted a “Zone of Infestation” within San Diego County for the Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB) based on a recommendation made by CAL FIRE Chief Ken Pimlott, California’s state forester. The decision came at the Board’s September 12, 2012 meeting.

The GSOB Zone of Infestation is intended to raise awareness of the pest and reduce the potential for its spread outside of San Diego County. Establishment of the Zone will likewise support ongoing multi-partner collaborative efforts toward GSOB prevention, containment, control, and remediation.

The GSOB was first identified in 2002 in San Diego County and thus far does not appear to have expanded its infestation elsewhere in the state. The insect is causing mortality in healthy, mature coast live oak, canyon live oak, and California black oak trees. It is estimated that approximately 80,000 oak trees have been killed in San Diego County since 2002 as a result of the GSOB infestation. The GSOB continues to spread within the county causing significant damage and mortality to oak species.

To help prevent the spread of GSOB, it is critical that all firewood and cut wood not be removed and transported outside of the Zone of Infestation. The Mountain Area Safety Task Force (MAST) advises people who like to burn cut wood to be very careful about where the wood they use was cut. MAST recommends that you utilize the “BURN IT WHERE YOU BUY IT” plan because pests and diseases such as the Goldspotted Oak Borer can travel on firewood long distances, endangering previously unexposed areas. It is more important than ever to be cautious about the firewood we purchase. This will help in keeping another fierce predator from invading our local forests and wildlands.

Having lost so many pine trees to the bark beetle epidemic of the early 2000’s, it is very important to work together to protect the oak trees in our mountains, forests, and wildland areas. Choosing to buy and burn local wood is an easy solution, assuring you aren’t part of the problem. By keeping wood within its area of origin, you can be sure you are keeping any pests and pathogens already present in the local area as well.

For additional information on the Goldspotted Oak Borer you can go to

Friday, October 5, 2012

CAL FIRE reminds all Californians to “Have 2 Ways Out”

National Fire Prevention Week October 7 - 13, 2012

Sacramento – It only takes seconds for a fire to grow out of control, making escape from a fire impossible. That’s why CAL FIRE is urging people to “Have 2 Ways Out” of their home. In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. Prepare and practice your fire escape plan regularly with everyone in your household, including children and people with disabilities.

CAL FIRE and fire departments across the state are taking this opportunity during Fire Prevention Week to remind all Californians of the importance of creating a fire escape plan for your home and practicing it regularly. Most home fires occur at night when people are the least prepared. Tragedy can be avoided by knowing in advance and practicing two escape routes from each room.

“In 2011, 70 percent of structure fires in California reported to the CAL FIRE-Office of the State Fire Marshal were residential and accounted for 90 percent of fire deaths,” said State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover. “Everyone should take steps to help prevent home fires and ensure their family is protected.”

Making an escape plan is simple:

• Draw a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.

• Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet after they’ve safely escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.

• Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.

• Check your smoke alarms regularly and have practice escape drills so everyone knows two ways out.

Practicing fire-safe behaviors and knowing what to do in an emergency can give your family the seconds needed to escape.

For more fire safety tips, visit the CAL FIRE website at

Monday, October 1, 2012

Another community seeks Cooperative Agreement with CAL FIRE

Communities in San Diego County to be protected by CAL FIRE.  The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District voted recently to approve a cooperative fire protection agreement with CAL FIRE.

Earlier this year some other local governments contracted with CAL FIRE in order to make their communities more cost effective.  The city of Morgan Hill signed a five year contract with CAL FIRE in April 2012, while the Groveland Fire Department inked an agreement for a Schedule A contract in August with CAL FIRE.  The town of Paradise, California also decided this year to contract with CAL FIRE for their fire protection duties.

CAL FIRE has and maintains a variety of agreements with a number of varied agencies, departments and local governmental entities.

Since the 1940s, local government entities such as cities, counties and districts have contracted with CAL FIRE to provide many forms of emergency services for their communities. CAL FIRE provides full-service fire protection to many of the citizens of California through the administration of 145 cooperative fire protection agreements in 33 of the State's 58 counties, 30 cities, 32 fire districts and 25 other special districts and service areas. As a full-service fire department CAL FIRE responds to wildland fires, structure fires, floods, hazardous material spills, swift water rescues, civil disturbances, earthquakes, and medical emergencies of all kinds. Local governments are able to utilize this diversity and experience through their contracts and agreements with the Department. (From the CAL FIRE web site)