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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

CAL FIRE at the Fair

Day 5 of the San Bernardino County Fair in Victorville, California began with winds gusting to 25 miles an hour.  The winds pushed dust across the area and served as a reminder about the potential for wildfire.  With fire equipment from the San Bernardino Unit assisting on fires in other areas, a strike team of fire engines again spent the day in the San Bernardino Unit supplying support.

This Madera/Mariposa/Merced strike team had been in the San Diego Unit on the fire there before coming to the San Bernardino Unit.  Like the previous day, the strike team showed up at the San Bernardino County Fair.  Once again fair goers were able to see up close and personal what CAL FIRE is all about.
Young man is assisted out of the cab after getting to see the inside of a real fire engine
The firefighters jumped right in, talking to visitors and showing off their engines to young and old alike.  They also helped in the CAL FIRE booth in Smokey Bear Park, answering questions and asking fire prevention and safety questions to the young people who wanted to spin the CAL FIRE fire prevention wheel.  The MMM firefighters along with San  Bernardino Unit firefighters took Smokey Bear around the fair where he made many new friends.

Smokey Bear and friends head out for a walk about around the fair
Thank you to the firefighters and leaders of the Madera/Mariposa/Merced Unit strike team.  They showed once again that CAL FIRE can travel anywhere in the state, and work together with other CAL FIRE members to accomplish a common goal whether it is fighting fire or working public fire safety events.
Have you got your Smokey on?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fire engine Disneyland for fair goers

Yesterday, Tuesday, May 28, 2013 was the fourth day of the San Bernardino County Fair in Victorville, California.  The public service area of the fair called Smokey Bear Park had some special visitors.  A CAL FIRE strike team of fire engines (strike teams consist of 5 engines and a strike team leader) from the San Mateo/Santa Cruz area stopped by to lend a hand.

Captain Tony Jones explaining what CAL FIRE does at the fair to the San Mateo/Santa Cruz Firefighters

Looking from the entrance of Smokey Bear Park at two CAL FIRE engines infront of the CAL FIRE booth
The strike team had been in San Diego assisting the CAL FIRE Unit there in covering some of their stations in place of the regular crews who had been involved in fighting a wildland fire there.  This is one of the abilities of CAL FIRE, to move resources from one area to another to meet operational needs.
Flo the Clown stopped by to see what was going on and spent some time with the Firefighters
Because of the highwinds and low humidities in the Inland Empire and High Desert areas, the strike team which had been released from San Diego was repositioned in the San Bernardino Unit in case a fire broke out. The strike team had been positioned at the Phelan Fire Station and came over to the fair to help.

Two of the San Mateo/Santa Crus engines infront of the CAL FIRE booth
This is the only time in the history of the CAL FIRE presence at the fair that so many fire engines have been available for the public to see and learn about.  During their time at the fair, the crews assisted in the CAL FIRE booth sharing fire prevention information as well as providing the public with guided tours around their fire engines.  They also took Smokey Bear on a tour of the fair much to the enjoyment of children and adults alike.
The CAL FIRE engines saying good bye to fair goers as they left
The San Bernardino Unit says thank you to the CAL FIRE firefighters from San Mateo/Santa Cruz for jumping in and helping the fair going public to learn more about CAL FIRE and fire safety.  The six fire engines (one was from the San Bernardino Unit) were a fantastic draw and served to display CAL FIRE at its best. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

CAL FIRE goes to the Fair

Today is day three of the San Bernardino County Fair in Victorville, California.  The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit has been participating at the fair for more than 30 years.  For the last 15 years, the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit has been the coordinator for Smokey Bear Park. This is an area where the fair allows public service organizations and governmental agencies to provide public information at no cost.

Entrance to Smokey Bear Park
This year, besides CAL FIRE, there is Narcotics Anonymous, Victor Valley Ham Radio Club, High Desert Homeless, Civil Air Patrol, Military Kids and San Bernardino County Victim Witness.
Fair goers stopping to look at the CAL FIRE engine before entering Smokey Bear Park
CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit's booth
Fire Prevention Education Wheel next to Smokey's Five Rules
Safety Information wall
CAL FIRE photo wall
 The fair runs daily through next Sunday, June 2nd

CAL FIRE in Lease Discussions with Airport Authority

VICTORVILLE • The City Council, serving also as the Southern California Logistics Airport Authority, will discuss a new lease agreement Tuesday between Cal Fire and the SCLA to support aerial firefighting operations for the state.

Read the rest of the story here;

Friday, May 24, 2013

CAL FIRE Suspends Burning Permits

CAL FIRE is suspending burning permits on ALL STATE RESPONSIBILITY LANDS WITHIN SAN BERNARDINO, INYO AND MONO COUNTIES. This is being done because of the extreme potential for destructive wildland fire. The burn suspension will become effective at 6:00 A.M. on Saturday, May 25, 2013, in accordance with Section 4423.1 of the California Public Resources Code. The suspension is effective except in incorporated cities. Additionally;

1. The use of campfires is restricted to campfire facilities located within established campgrounds that are open to the public.

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

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

We have already witnessed active burning conditions on several wildland fires within San Bernardino and Inyo Counties and throughout southern California. Homeowner’s responsibility is the key to fire safety. Following the law and having their 100 feet of defensible space (or to the property line) is a great first step in making their homes and property fire resistive. For more fire safety tips go to

Once again, the Burning Permit Suspension is effective beginning Saturday morning, May 25, 2013 and will remain in effect until the suspension is terminated by CAL FIRE.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

CAL FIRE assists the City of Monrovia

When we work TOGETHER we're BETTER !

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wildfire Awareness Week comes to the Inland Empire

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. declared this week Wildfire  Awareness Week to remind the residents of California of the dangers of wildland fires.  "The conditions right now are what we should be experiencing in June," said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE Director.  Chief Pimlott was in the City of Redlands this morning with many other members of the fire service to bring the Wildfire Awareness Week message to the residents of the Inland Empire.

On hand were representatives of the Redlands Fire Department, CAL FIRE, both the San Bernardino Unit and the Riverside Unit/Riverside County Fire, San Bernardino County Fire, The U. S. Forest Service San Bernardino National Forest, California Emergency Management Agency and the California National Guard.  All the representatives were there to support the effort to remind Californians and residents of the Inland Empire of the dangers of wildland fire.

Last week we witnessed that danger up close with the several fires that burned not only in the Inland Empire but in Los Angeles and Ventura counties as well.  Chief Pimlott said "this year's dry winter has resulted in a significant increase in fire activity, in fact CAL FIRE firefighters have responded to nearly 1,100 wildfires this year, which is over 500 more for than average."

CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott talking about the dangers of wildfires

CAL FIRE is reminding Californians that when it comes to wildfires, remember "READY, SET, GO!" Being Ready for a wildfire starts by maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space and hardening homes with fire resistant materials. "It's critical that residents prepare for wildfires by maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space around all homes," said Chief Pimlott. "Most wildfires are preventable and we need residents and vacationers to be extra cautions outdoors so we can prevent wildfires from occurring in the first place."
Chief Ken Pimlott being interviewed by NPR Radio

Homeowners looking for additional information on how to prepare themselves, their families and their homes for wildfire can visit The site offers tips for residents to make their homes more resistant to wildfires and to ensure that their families are ready to evacuate early and safely when a wildfire strikes.

CAL FIRE Deputy Director for Legislation Caroline Godkin talking with Daniel Sanchez, District Representative for State Senator Bill Emmerson

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Annual countywide training's final day

Today was the third and final day of the 27th annual San Bernardino County Training Officers Association bump and run exercises.  This year the exercises were held at the Boy Scout camp in Cedar Glen.  In fact, structure defense activities were conducted there during the fires of 2003 and 2007.  This was the first time that the exercises were held in the San Bernardino Mountains.  During the three days, approximately 175 fire personnel and 25 overhead personnel participated. 

The following departments sent at least one engine at least one day during the exercises; San Manuel Fire Department, CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit, San Bernardino County Fire, San Bernardino City Fire, Upland Fire, Colton Fire, Loma Linda Fire, Arrowbear Fire, Big Bear Fire, Rialto Fire, Rancho Cucamonga Fire, Ontario Fire, Morongo Valley Fire, Chino Fire, Running Springs Fire and the U.S. Forest Service San Bernardino National Forest.

There were also two special visitors today at the exercises. Janet Nelsen, Field Representative for 33rd District Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and Daniel Sanchez, District Representative for 23rd District State Senator Bill Emmerson.  It was great to have them visit and witness firsthand what local firefighters are doing to increase their abilities to protect the residents and property of San Bernardino County.

Rancho Cucamonga B.C. briefing her task force

San Bernardino Unit Forester Glenn Barley at MAST refresher class

San Bernardino Co. Fire Captain explaining structure triage to Janet Nelsen

Daniel Sanchez and San Bernardino Unit B.C. Jesse Estrada talking about the hose lay exercise

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Retirement Celebrations

You're CAL FIRE family will miss you both dearly! 
You've worked hard to get to this point,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day One of Wildland Training Exercises

Today was day one of three consecutive days of wildland fire training exercises also known as bump and run drills.  This is the 27th consecutive year that the San Bernardino County Training Officers Association have conducted these all agency drills.  Firefighters from throughout the San Bernardino Valley and Mountains are participating in the exercises.  Even though we witnessed a great deal of firefighting last week, these exercises are still important.  The exercises included a briefing on the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce (MAST), a fire jel demonstration, 1500 foot hoselay up the mountain side, structure triage and defense along with a fire shelter deployment. 

Morning briefing and assignments

Working together on the hose lay

discussing structure triage

Completing a structure triage card

Monday, May 6, 2013


Congratulations Dean Kowalski !!!

Battalion Chief Jesse Estrada presented Dean with his Firefighter II Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) certificate this afternoon. What a great accomplishment and display of determination!

Firefighter Appreciation Week

CAL FIRE staff from several Units 
(as well as many other local fire cooperators) 
participated in this years Price is Right show honoring all the hard working FIREFIGHTERS.

Check it out, the show airs May 24th, 2013 on CBS Channel 2

San Bernardino Unit participants:

Firefighters’ 27th annual Wildland Training Exercises

For the 27th consecutive year, firefighters from fire departments throughout the San Bernardino valley and mountains will be participating in the San Bernardino County Fire Training Officers’ Association’s wildland training exercises. The training focuses on wildland urban interface fire operations including structure defense techniques, resource utilization, equipment deployment, structure triage, safety, communications, and tactical priorities. Additionally, the training includes a 1500 foot hose lay, shelter deployment and MAST training in a realistic 4-hour training exercise.

As we have seen in the last several days, fast moving interface fires can threaten homes and property very rapidly. This training will enhance the firefighters capability to work together to defend the residents and properties of San Bernardino County.

When faced with a wildfire, firefighters employ a technique called “bump and run”. This is where a strike team of five fire engines will enter a threatened or burning neighborhood and deploy at five consecutive homes. The fire engine backs into the driveway of a home and firefighters quickly assess their surroundings. If the home has defensible space and firefighters feel it can be defended they deploy hoses and work to push the approaching flames away from the structure. Then as the firefighters push the flames around the home to the next, they return to their engine and move to the next home furthest down the line and so on. This leapfrogging allows firefighters to protect a larger number of homes with a smaller amount of resources. The training is an important annual event and allows our local firefighters to train together in a realistic environment, sharpening their skills in preparation for the upcoming high fire hazard months of summer and fall.

There will be no live fire training at this event. The exercise will be conducted at the Forest Lawn Scout Reservation 29485 Hook Creek Road, Cedar Glen 92321 between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, May 7,8, and 9, 2013.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wabash Fire

At approximately 11:45 a.m. today, a fire was reported in the area of Redlands and Yucaipa, California.  The fire was near the Wabash road off of the east bound I-10 Freeway.  The first arriving CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit fire engines reported 2 to 3 acres, fast rate of spread with numerous spots fires.  The fire began adjacent to the freeway and burned rapidly up the hillside fueled by steep slopes and dead field grass.  There was also an immediate threat to homes above the ridge line.

Wabash fire racing up the hillside in the dry grass from the I-10 Fwy
CAL FIRE and Redlands Fire immediately assumed a unified command to fight the fire.  Fast response from CAL FIRE and U.S. Forest Service aircraft and CAL FIRE  and CAL FIRE/San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department helicopters greatly assisted the firefighters in stopping the forward spread of the fire. The eastbound lanes of the I-10 Freeway were totally shut down for about 30 minutes and gradually opened too three eastbound lanes within the next hour.  The outside lane and the emergency parkway will remain closed until mop-up is completed.
Extreme fire activity even without the strong wilds of the last few days

A coyote running away from the flames
Approximately 150 firefighters were involved in fighting the fire and protecting the structures and the height of the incident.  No structures were reported damaged or destroyed, no injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.  The fire burned 28.5 acres and is expected to be 100% contained by 8:00 a.m. this evening.  Full control is expected by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow Saturday, May 5, 2013.
CAL FIRE air tanker after retardant drop

President's Fire Prevention Conference of 1947

This is a very interesting article about the fire prevention conference held by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. 

“The serious losses in life and property resulting
annually from fires cause me deep concern. I am
sure that such unnecessary waste can be reduced.
The substantial progress made in the science of fire
prevention and fire protection in this country during
the past forty years convinces me that the means are
available for limiting this unnecessary destruction.”

Harry S. Truman

This is an important article since the truths addressed then are still being addressed today.  There have indeed been advances in many areas to protect life, property and resources from the ravages of fire. However, the threat continues to be as real now as it was then as we have witnessed over the last few days.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fire Activity

For fire status updates that CAL FIRE resources are committed to and/or assisting with, click the link below:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott visiting the Southern Region

From left to right:
Janet Barentson, Matthew Kirkhart, Shelly Redden, Ken Pimlott, Dean Kowalski, Travis Wylie, Tony Favro

Emergencies, Do YOU know what to do?

Do you know what to do in the first five minutes of an emergency? Why the first five minutes? Because that is the time period when you recognize there is an emergency, contact 9-1-1 for help and wait for the emergency responders to arrive. There are things that you can do during the time between 9-1-1 and the arrival of the emergency responders.

After you have called for assistance, the first thing you need to do is to remain calm. This can be difficult, but by your remaining calm, it will help the person in need of assistance not to panic. If you are still on the phone with 9-1-1 you can help by providing some updates on the condition of the person needing assistance on what is happening. This information can help the first responders to be ready for what they are going to encounter and could help to reduce the time needed in providing the correct treatment or in dealing with the event.

How can I be prepared for an emergency? One way to be prepared for a medical emergency is to learn some basic first aid. Know what to do if your house catches on fire. Learn basic CPR. William Walters MD, an emergency medicine specialist at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia says “people are often hesitant to get involved in an emergency situation, not because they don’t want to help, but they are worried they won’t know what to do.”

However, the most important things to remember are to stay calm and if you can’t help safely, don’t help. This would be important if for example; you were helping at the scene of a vehicle accident. You can find more safety suggestions at

CAL FIRE is the largest all risk fire department in California and has been providing fire protection in San Bernardino County since 1922. CAL FIRE operates 228 state fire stations and 575 local government fire stations via contract throughout the state. More than 4,000 inmate firefighters and 7,000 permanent and seasonal firefighters respond to an average of more than 5,600 wildland fires and more than 350,000 non-wildland Fire Emergencies annually.