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

Friday, September 27, 2013

Making a School More Fire Safe

A story about CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit fire crews appeared recently in the Mountain News. The focus of the story is about the crews helping to clear overgrown vegetation from around a local mountain school.  The story does however, touch on the capabilities of the crews.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


CAL FIRE-BDU assisting USFS-SBNF on Tuesday evening September 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Keep Your Fire Guard Up!

With the extreme fire hazard that exists across San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire everyone needs to “keep their guard up”  as the potential for wildfire grows with the arrival of the Santa Ana wind period. The “Devil Winds” as they are known, race through Southern California primarily during the months of October through December.  However, it is not unusual to experience Santa Ana winds as early as September or into the next year. The fire activity that we have witnessed the past few months has been very active and severe without the driving hot, dry Santa Ana winds.

Many of California’s most disastrous fires have been driven by strong, dry Santa Ana winds.  Eleven of the twenty largest California wildland fires by structures destroyed occurred in Southern California between September and November. This includes the Panorama fire of November 1980, that destroyed 345 structures and killed four people, the 2003 Grand Prix and Old fires and the deadly Esparanza fire.

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Acting Unit Chief Rod Bywater says “fire is everyone’s fight. Fire safety and prevention needs to be on the mind of everyone, especially those who live and recreate in the mountains and wildland areas”.  CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Fire Prevention Battalion Chief Preston Fouts reminds us that “that one less spark can result in one less fire.  By being fire safe, people really can make a difference in preventing fires from starting in the first place.” It is also a good idea to see if the clearance around your property is still good.  Even if you did your clearance in the spring, you should give the property a once over so that you have good defensible space around your structures.  This defensible space provides firefighters the area they need to mount an effective defense of your home. 
According to weather experts, the Santa Ana wind cycle begins when high pressure from the high desert of the Great Basin pushes hot dry winds into Southern California.  These winds initially occur approximately every ten days.  The frequency of the wind events increases as the weeks go by until December when the winds events can happen about every three or four days.  The racing winds, dry weather, and low humidity combine to create a prescription for disaster.

 Another reason that makes the Santa Ana winds so dangerous is their appeal to arsonists.  The hot and dry vegetation beckons to the destructive tendencies of an arsonist.  With this in mind, it is very important for residents everywhere especially in the mountain and wildland areas to pay attention to suspicious actions.  If you see something suspicious report it to CAL FIRE, your local fire agency or law enforcement.

 The arson fires from 1993 were the catalyst for the 1994 “One Strike for Arson” law.  It punishes any person who willfully, maliciously, deliberately, with premeditation and with specific intent, sets fire to, burns, or causes to be burned, any residence, structure, forest land or property.  That person when convicted is guilty of aggravated arson.  According to this law, if any one or more of the specified aggravated factors exists, the person convicted SHALL not be eligible for probation and SHALL be imprisoned in state prison for ten years to life.

 Firefighters need your help to combat arson and wildfire.  The vegetation is tender dry and with low humidity and high winds, very susceptible to ignition.  Almost any type of heat source can start a fire in these conditions.  If you see a fire, no matter what size, report it to the nearest fire department or call “911”.  Please do not assume that another person made the call.  The quicker the public reports a fire, the faster firefighters can respond.  Remember, “fire is everyone’s fight” and if you have information about how a fire started, report it to the fire department or law enforcement.

CAL FIRE  San Bernardino Unit  Fire Prevention Battalion Chief Preston Fouts says “preventing fires is everyone’s business.  If we work together, we can keep our homes and property, recreational areas and most of all our loved ones safe from the ravages of wildfire”.  For more information go to

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

RIVERSIDE: 9/11 remembrance ceremony draws crowd

Twelve years after the largest terrorist attack on American soil, the Riverside community honored and remembered the fallen and first responders of 9/11.

The event was one of many across the Inland Empire on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

For the full story; click on the photo/link below:
CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit Division Chief Bart Chambers 

Honor Guard members prepare for twenty-one gun salute

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Crafton Hills Fire Academy Honors 9-11

Yesterday, the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America was honored by the Fire Cadets attending the Crafton Hills Fire Academy.  The Academy is currently sharing space at the Headquarters of the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit while their new facility is built.  The Cadets conducted a flag raising ceremony to commemorate what happened on the September morning when nearly 3,000 Americans, civilians and emergency responders lost their lives.  The CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit stands with the Crafton Hills Fire Cadets and every other American in remembering the tragedy of that day.