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Sunday, June 30, 2013


The personnel of the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit want to express their heartfelt sadness over the loss today of 19 brave firefighters in Arizona.  One life lost is too many. Nineteen is almost too much to contemplate.  There are no words to describe our feelings for these firefighters who have answered their final bell. 


Thursday, June 27, 2013

CAL FIRE BDU trains with Apple Valley Fire

Several fire engine crews from the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit participated in the day long Fire Control 3 classes being put on by the Apple Valley Fire Protection District.  The three 90 minute sections allowed for a larger group of firefighters to participate.  The classes included fire behavior and interior attack, special searches and roof ventilation.

This is a good example of coordinated regional training that enhances the abilities of all the firefighters who trained together.  Present through the day were Apple Valley Fire, CAL FIRE BDU and Baldwin Lake Fire Department.

Firefighters watch as the fire begins to roll across the ceiling.

Another shot of the fire's behavior as it grows

CAL FIRE BDU Firefighter Matt Swendra climes out of the window after a room search
There was a very special firefighter who visited the training exercise today.  He is honorary Apple Valley Firefighter Dominic Cumo.  This brave young boy is suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and loves to visit firefighters.  After his training evolution, Matt Swendra presented his fire helmet, signed by all of the CAL FIRE BDU personnel present at the time to Dominic.  You can find this brave young boy on Facebook; Dominic Cumo.

Honorary Apple Valley FF Dominic Cumo and his new CAL FIRE friends

CAL FIRE BDU crew getting in some roof ventilation practice
This was a good day of training and working along side firefighters and leaders from different fire departments.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

CAL FIRE Arrests Yosemite Lakes Park Area Arson Suspects

Madera - After a rash of suspicious fires, CAL FIRE law enforcement officers Tuesday night arrested a Yosemite Lakes Park couple on suspicion of dozens of arson fires. Kenneth Alan Jackson, 40 and Allison Marie Waterman, 46, both of Coarsegold, were booked into the Madera County Jail for arson. Jackson is being charged with 31 counts of arson, resisting arrest, as well as attempted battery on a peace officer. Waterman was booked on a single charge of arson.

“The Yosemite Lakes Park community has been threatened by countless wildfires over the past several months that we believe were a result of arson,” said Chief Nancy Koerperich, CAL FIRE Unit Chief for the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit. “We appreciate the community’s support and assistance as we worked to track down these suspects.”

CAL FIRE law enforcement officers work diligently in arson cases to aggressively investigate and prosecute those suspected of intentionally starting fires. Numerous agencies assisted in the investigation and arrest including the Madera County Sheriff’s Department, Madera County District Attorney’s Office and the Yosemite Lakes Park security staff.

As fire danger remains extreme across California, arson is a major threat to both life and property. Residents should be vigilant in their preparedness and aware of suspicious persons when a fire does start. If you witness someone suspicious make note of the time, his or her physical description, as well as any vehicle description, including the license plate number. Always contact law enforcement, never approach a suspicious person. Anyone with information about arson is urged to contact the CAL FIRE Arson Hotline at 1-800-468-4408. Callers can remain anonymous.

Yosemite Lakes Park is a community of approximately 1,900 homes in Madera County located between Yosemite National Park and Fresno, near the town of Coarsegold.

The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit wants to remind everyone to be extra careful during this coming period of hot weather.  Wildland fire ignition potential will be greatly increased with the heat.  Fireworks, illegal and Safe and Sane can quickly be the cause of fires if used improperly or in the wrong place.  Please be fire safe and fire wise.

BLM Bishop Field Office & Inyo National Forest Announce Fire Restrictions

Effective Friday, June 28, the Bureau of Land Management- Bishop Field Office and the Inyo National Forest are implementing fire restrictions. The restrictions are in effect on all BLM public lands managed by the Bishop Field Office and all Inyo National Forest lands, including wilderness areas. “Ongoing drought conditions, well below average rain and snowfall this past winter and warmer than average temperatures have led to very dry conditions for this time of year,” said Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta. “We are experiencing very high fire danger and continued hot and dry weather patterns here in the eastern Sierra.”

Beginning June 28, and until further notice, the following restrictions will be in effect:

• NO CAMPFIRES, briquette barbeques, or stove fires are allowed outside of designated developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas. A list of designated campgrounds and recreation sites is available at local Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers, and on the Inyo National Forest website, Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit (available free of charge at any Ranger Station or Visitor Center) are not exempt from the prohibitions but are allowed to use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.

• NO FIREWORKS. It is prohibited to possess or discharge any fireworks.

• NO SMOKING, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

• NO WELDING or operating an acetylene torch with open flames, except by permit.

• NO USE OF EXPLOSIVES, except by permit.

Resorts, pack stations, recreation residences and other sites operated under special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service or BLM may be exempt from the special orders, as long as any fire activity is conducted in compliance with their permit. Special use permit holders should contact their permit administrator to make sure they are on the list of exempt sites, or check the information for special use permit exemptions on the Inyo National Forest Website,

Steve Nelson, Acting BLM Bishop Field Manager and Armenta urge the public’s cooperation in helping to prevent wildfires in this year of very high fire danger, and they remind both residents and visitors that fireworks, even “Safe and Sane” are not allowed at any time on public lands.

The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit also wants to urge everyone to be not only fire safe, but fire aware.  As the weather heats up to possibly record highs, the potential for wildland fire ignitions increases as well.