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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Spark of Love Kick off

 The 20th annual ABC& Firefighters "Spark of Love" Christmas toy drive officially kicked off this morning in Ontario.  The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit was there to support the kick off as were several other fire departments including Ontario Fire Department who did all the coordinating for the event. 
Garth Kemp accepting toy donation from Ontario P.D.
ABC7 Weatherman Garth Kemp was on hand to keep things going and from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. one bus was filled with holiday gists juest waiting to make a child happy this Christmas.

CAL FIRE BDU firefighters help to load toy donations

Garth Kemp and Raider Claus
The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit was one of the original founders of the "Spark of Love" Christmas toy drive and for many years was the coordinator for all of San Bernardino County.  The San Bernardino Unit continues to support the Spark of Love Christmas toy drive through events like today's kick off and through toy collections in the contract cities of Hghland and Yucaipa.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

CAL FIRE BDU Removes Old Trees in Yucaipa

You could call it a case of "out with the old and in with the new" as a fire crew from Pilot Rock Camp took down three dead cedar trees in Yucaipa this week and turned them into lumber.  The three trees were located in a large planter area in front of the Yucaipa Historical Museum located at 35136 Avenue "A".  The actual building is the original Yucaipa California Division of Forestry Fire Station.  The cedars were removed to make way for a newly designed area to be dedicated to the firefighters that have served in the City of Yucaipa.

Under the direction of San Bernardino Unit Forester Glenn Barley, the trees were taken down and turned into usable lumber.  The lumber is to be used as part of the railing for the driveway bridge at the new Yucaipa Sheriff's Station.  Any left over wood will also be used for other decorative purposes within the city of Yucaipa. 

Captain Steve Volmer explains to Unit Forester Glenn Barley his suggestion for taking the trees down
The man tasked with falling the trees and cutting the wood into lumber was Captain Steve Volmer from the San Bernardino Unit's Fenner Conservation Camp.  He was assisted by a fire crew from the Pilot Rock Conservation Camp. The primary work of taking the trees down and milling them into lumber was accomplished in two days.  The lumber sizes to be milled included 6x6, 2x6, 2x3, and 2x4 as far as the trees will go.
Captain Volmer making cut of upper portion of one of the trees to be taken down

Some of the left over wood milled from the fallen trees

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Invasive Pest Found in Riverside County

Fire and Forest Officials Ask Public's Help to Stop Spread

The goldspotted oak borer (GSOB) has been detected in a recently-killed California black oak tree in the Riverside County mountain community of Idyllwild. Larvae extracted from under the tree bark were subjected to DNA analysis at the University of California Riverside and confirmed to be Agrilus auroguttatus, the scientific name for GSOB. This new detection of GSOB represents the first long-distance movement of the beetle from its known area of infestation in San Diego County, 40 miles to the south. It is believed to have made the jump from San Diego to Idyllwild through the movement of infested firewood. The infested tree is slated for immediate removal and disposal.

The GSOB is transported in oak firewood, so it is critical that Californians keep firewood local and not move it out of the area. Here are some immediate steps to help stop the spread of GSOB:

• Use firewood from local sources - “Buy it Where you Burn It”

• Leave firewood at home - do not transport it to recreational cabins, campgrounds or parks

“The public plays a key role in stopping the spread of the destructive GSOB,” said CAL FIRE Director and State Forester Ken Pimlott. “When choosing firewood make sure you buy it from a local source and not from out of the area. This infestation could have devastating effects on California and we all must work to stop its spread.”

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is collaborating with the University of California, the U.S. Forest Service and the County of Riverside to develop a rapid response plan for GSOB in San Jacinto forest communities. Surveys are already in progress to determine the extent of the infestation. Property owners in the Idyllwild area will be receiving additional information in the coming weeks on the GSOB and how to assess their own oak trees as well as a list of recommended contacts for questions. These infestations can be very destructive to our forests, communities, individual properties, and are extremely costly to control.

“This discovery of GSOB in Riverside County is of great concern,” said CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins. “These mountain communities have endured years of drought and bark beetle infestation and we need to work collaboratively with the public and all stakeholders to stop the GSOB from further destroying our forest and oak woodlands.”

Anyone planning to purchase or burn firewood is encouraged to visit to learn how help stop the spread of GSOB and other pests through the movement of firewood. For more information on GSOB visit

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November is California Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month

State Law Requires CO Alarms in Most Homes

November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness month and CAL FIRE is reminding all residents of the importance of having a working carbon monoxide alarm. As of July 1, 2011, state law requires owners of single family homes with attached garages or fossil fuel sources for heating to install carbon monoxide alarms in every California home. In addition, all other dwelling units, like apartments, are required to have an alarm by January 1, 2013.

“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, each year claiming the lives of an average of 480 people and sending more than 20,000 people to emergency rooms across the nation.” said State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover, CAL FIRE-Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced from heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, and many types of appliances and cooking devices. The best way for homeowners to stay protected from CO is to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed on every floor and outside each sleeping area. A recent study found that nearly nine in 10 California households did not have a CO alarm. “Having a CO alarm is a small investment that really can help save your life and the lives of your family,” said Chief Hoover.

California’s Carbon Monoxide Month is intended to help educate homeowners about the law and to encourage them to install a carbon monoxide alarm. CAL FIRE / Office of the State Fire Marshal is teaming up with fire departments across the state, as well as other State agencies to spread the word about the dangers of CO and how to keep your family and friends safe.

As the cooler weather moves into California and the use of fossil fuel heating increases, now is the time to be aware of the dangers of CO and how you can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. For more information on carbon monoxide visit the CAL FIRE website at or visit the website for the California Department of Public Health at