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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Successful Management Review

Bi-Annually CAL FIRE/CDCR Conservation Camps statewide go through a cooperative agency management review to ensure all expectations are being achieved (health/safety/operations). On March 28th, 2013 the Owens Valley Conservation Camp, located in Bishop, CA, successfully completed their camp management review. The executive staff arranged a visit to the camp for the closing of this review.

(Left to right)
Renee Barton - Executive Secretary 
Rod Bywater - Acting Unit Chief 
Darren Feldman - Unit Administrative Chief - AO
Ron Janssen - Battalion Chief 
Chris Hardy - Battalion Chief
Christy Morton - Owens Valley Office Technician
J. Paul Melendrez - Owens Valley Division Chief

Thursday, March 28, 2013

CAL FIRE BDU Attends Career Day at Redlands High Schools

What do you want to be when you grow up?  This is a question that many teenagers ponder as they get closer to graduation.  In order to assist the teenagers at Redlands High School and Citrus Valley High School (also in Redlands, California) the schools held a career day last Tuesday, March 26, 2013.  The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit was asked to be at the events and was honored to do so.  There were a number of job providers and higher education groups there.  Redlands Police and Fire Departments were present along with  the Army, Navy and Marines just to name a few.

To help prospective firefighters, Crafton Hills College's Fire Academy, represented by Frank DeBoer, retired Norco Fire Captain, was there to provide those interested with the information about becoming a firefighter.  Because of the long association between the Crafton Hills College Fire Academy and CAL FIRE BDU, the two were located next to each other.  This provided an excellent team effort.  When a young man or woman asked CAL FIRE how and where to get a fire education, we would point them to Captain DeBoer.  When someone asked where could they get a job in firefighting, Captain DeBoer pointed them to the CAL FIRE Booth.  Sometimes, both questions were addressed together.

Frank DeBoer and Alison Hesterly talk with potential future firefighters

Assisting in these two events were CAL FIRE BDU Fire Captain/Paramedic Erin Fairfax and Firefighter II Alison Hesterly. This really helped to represent first hand the diversity that is CAL FIRE.  It was an enjoyable day and the interactions of Fairfax and Hesterly were very positive for the many teenagers that they talked with.

Captain/Paramedic Erin Fairfax shares fire service information
with female high school students

CAL FIRE BDU Shares fire safety at NBC4

For the sixth consecutive year, the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit was asked to share fire safety with the news staff at NBC4 Television in Burbank, California.  This unique wildland fire safety class was created in 2002 by then Fire Prevention Battalion Chief Doug Lannon (retired) and Public Information Officer Bill Peters.  The class has been very successful over the years in not only teaching reporters and videographers how to be safe while covering wildland fires, but also in understanding how a fire works.

BDU Information Officer Bill Peters teaching in the basic class
about Situational Awareness 

 There are two versions of the class; a two hour refresher class and a four hour basic class.  Over three days recently, Information Officer Bill Peters taught six refresher classes and two basic classes.  The classes include wildland fire behavior, fire safety, situational awareness, Penal Code 409.5 (d) (California media access law) and how to deploy a fire shelter.  This year, the video "The New Generation Fire Shelter was introduced.  The video comes from the National Interagency Fire Center.  Following the video, a volunteer from the group actually deploys a practice fire shelter. 

BDU Information Officer watches as volunteer deploys a fire shelter
"Good Job"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Forest Care Program Extended through December 2013

The reimbursement program that has helped landowners create healthier, more fire safe forests on their property has been granted another season to offer assistance to our mountain communities.

Landowners within the San Bernardino National Forest still have a chance to meet with one of Forest Care’s professional foresters for a free property evaluation and voluntary enrollment in the reimbursement program. Forest Care has been granted, by the US Forest Service, another six months to ensure that those who are interested will have a chance to treat their property with Forest Care. Forest Care will continue to schedule new appointments with any interested landowners into the beginning of this fall.

“We are thrilled to have a bit more time to finish out The Forest Care Program, “explained Forest Care Director Julie Crick. “This extension will allow us to continue to schedule appointments through the summer months of 2013. All aspects of the program will be carefully coordinated to ensure enrolled landowners are able to have their project work completed and a reimbursement request submitted by our new deadline of September 15, 2013. The September deadline is in place to guarantee Forest Care has enough time to inspect completed projects and provide reimbursement funds to participating landowners before the grant expires in December 2013. However, Crick urged landowners who are currently enrolled in Forest Care to get their projects completed as soon as possible, regardless of the extension, to avoid running into the new deadline.

Forest Care is funded through a grant from the US Forest Service and is delivered in partnership by the Southern California Mountains Foundation and CAL FIRE. Forest Care’s mission is to create forest-friendly communities by reducing fuels and provide good examples of thinning trees to healthier densities on privately owned land. Forest Care is one of the many fuel reduction efforts undertaken by the Mountain Area Safety Task force (MAST) to make the mountains a safer place to live in and visit.

The Forest Care Program has been assisting property owners with the cost of thinning and pruning their trees since its introduction to the mountain communities in 2006. To date over 4,000 landowners have successfully completed Forest Care on their property. Property owners will be reimbursed up to 75% of the cost of thinning their properties when they participate in the Forest Care Program.

To schedule a free property evaluation with a professional forester, call the Forest Care office at 1-888-883-8446. To learn more about the Forest Care Program visit our website:
and check the forest care section.