On Saturday, July 13th, 30 firefighters from the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit of CALFIRE attended Railcar Safety Training hosted by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in Bieber. The training included railcar identification, hazardous materials placarding, and responding to a derailment.
Each year dozens of fire agencies throughout California help make a positive difference in the lives of those suffering from neuromuscular diseases by hosting a Boot Drive in their community. If you would like to contribute to this important cause, just find a firefighter along Main Street this Saturday, July 20th. You can?t miss them. They’ll be the ones with boot in hand gratefully accepting donations.
In 2012, firefighters were able to raise $4000 through the community’s generous support. Their goal this year is to increase that by $2000. Please help them meet this challenge by donating to the MDA ‘Fill the Boot’ drive, Saturday, July 20th.
Sacramento - With dry winds forecast for many parts of Northern California, CAL FIRE has increased its staffing and is urging the public to be extra cautious due to the heightened fire danger. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning stretching form Shasta County down through the Sacramento Valley to San Joaquin County starting Friday morning for high winds and low humidity lasting through Saturday evening.
“Even with some recent rain in Northern California, conditions remain much drier than normal for this time of year,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “We have extra firefighters and equipment available to respond to new wildfires, but now especially is when we need the public’s help in preventing accidental wildfires.”
Since January 1 CAL FIRE has responded to nearly 1,900 wildfires across California that have burned approximately 45,000 acres. In an average year for the same time period, CAL FIRE typically responds to about 990 fires that burn around 7,700 acres. The significantly dry conditions are a major factor in the 90 percent increase in fire activity.
During the Red Flag Warning CAL FIRE urges all Californians to exercise extreme caution outdoors in order to prevent a wildfires. A few helpful reminders and fire prevention tips include:
- Don’t mow or weed eat dry grass on windy days
- Ensure campfires are allowed, and if so, be sure to extinguish them completely
- Target shoot only in approved areas, use lead ammunition only, and never at metal targets
- Be extra careful with all powered equipment outdoors including chainsaws, tractors and welders
- Never burn landscape debris like leaves or branches on NO Burn Days or when its windy
The public is also encouraged to review “Ready, Set, Go” procedures when it comes to preparing for a wildfire at www.ReadyForWildfire.org.
Firefighters from Bieber Helitack Base trained on their new hoist rescue system yesterday. Firefighters took turns role playing as rescuer and victim. The rescuer was lowered to the ground where they placed the waiting victim into a “screamer suit”. The victim was then hoisted up into the helicopter.
Firefighters from Bieber Helitack Base completed Basic Helicopter Operations and Safety (BHOS) Training the week of May 20th. In addition to slingload operations (pictured), the crew trained on bucket drops, hoverstep, loading and unloading, fueling, firefighting and general safety in and around the helicopter.
The Bieber Helitack Base was established in the mid 70s and is co-located with Bieber Forest Fire Station in Lassen County.
Bieber Helitack Base responds to an average of 200 calls per year. Staff at Bieber consists of one battalion chief, two fire captains and two pilots. During fire season, an additional two captains, two fire apparatus engineers and nine firefighters are hired. The helicopter is a UH-1H Super Huey Helicopter used for fast initial attack on wildfires. It is one of nine helicopters available statewide.
The base’s immediate response area is approximately 648 square miles or 414,720 acres.
CAL FIRE says “goodbye” and “thank you” to Unit Chief Brad Lutts who will retire at the end of the year. Chief Lutts is a 35 year veteran of public safety and emergency response services in California, having performed both fire protection and law enforcement duties. He has been assigned as the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit Chief since March 1, 2006.
Since arriving in the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit in 2000, Chief Lutts has served as the Unit?s Administrative Officer, the Operations Chief, the Division Chief in command of the Devil’s Garden Conservation Camp, and as incident commander of Incident Command Team #3 from 2003 until his assignment to Unit Chief.
Chief Lutts’ previous Cal Fire assignments include Law Enforcement Bureau Chief in the San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit, Field Battalion Chief in the Mendocino and San Mateo-Santa Cruz Units, Fire Captain Specialist/Law Enforcement in the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit and Fire Fighter in the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit. Additionally, he has worked for a large county fire department and several fire districts. The staff of CAL FIRE wishes Chief Lutts a happy retirement and thanks him for his support of the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit. He will be missed.
Susanville – Effective Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 8:00 a.m., the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit (LMU) lifted restrictions on dooryard debris burning. This means you may burn dooryard debris without a permit. Permits will not be required until May 1, 2013. However, you must still contact your local Air Pollution Control District to ensure it?s a permissive burn day.
Modoc APCD – (530) 233-6401
Lassen APCD – (530) 257-BURN or 257-2876
Portola – (530) 832-4528
Quincy – (530) 283-3602
Greenville – (530) 284-6520
Chester – (530) 258-2588
This summer brought devastating wildfires to northern California. Though we recognize the need and convenience of being able to burn yard debris, we caution you to not let the cooler temperatures lull you into a false sense of security. One or two warm days can cause fine fuels such as twigs, pine needles and grasses to be easily ignited. If you must burn, use extreme caution. Never leave your fire unattended. If a debris burn escapes your control you could be held liable.
LMU began releasing seasonal firefighters and cutting back on the number of fire engines staffed around the clock. They will maintain and staff an appropriate level of fire response resources throughout the winter period until spring or until the potential for wildfire increases.
Arson is a crime that can occur in any community and one that has serious economic and social impacts. It is a crime too dangerous to ignore. If you suspect arson, or have information about a fire in your area, call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-468-4408.
The Arson Hotline is a statewide, toll free number, available 24-hours a day, for reporting information about suspicious fires. Callers can remain anonymous. All Hotline information is immediately forwarded to fire officials in the jurisdiction where the fire took place. Many arson cases have rewards for information leading to a conviction.
If you suspect arson is the cause of a fire in your area, or witness any suspicious activity related to a fire, don’t remain quiet. Call the Arson Hotline and report it immediately.
Sacramento - For many, the 4th of July signals the start of summer and time for fun family outings and vacations, especially camping. However, with hot and dry conditions, summer is also the time for wildfires. CAL FIRE would like to remind all campers and outdoor enthusiasts to keep these summer time safety tips in mind while enjoying the great outdoors.
Fire safety plays an important role outdoors, especially when it comes to campfires and outdoor cooking. If left unattended and not properly extinguished, campfires can produce a wildfire. Campfires can also be extremely dangerous for children. Children should never be allowed to play around campfires or outdoor cooking appliances. Devastating burn injuries are all too common when these safety rules are not followed. In addition, it is important to use flammable liquids (lighter fluid, kerosene, propane) and related appliances safely. Just a little forethought could protect you and your family.
CAL FIRE offers the following safety tips for outdoor recreation, cooking and camping:
- Obtain a campfire permit before starting any campfire.
- Use only approved and established campgrounds and campfire rings.
- Locate the campfire a safe distance away from tents, trees, or buildings.
- Clear the area around your campfire down to soil for 5 feet in all directions.
- Teach everyone “stop, drop, and roll”.
- Use electric or battery lights in RVs.
- When using a propane appliance, light a match before turning on the gas.
- Store flammable liquids away from your tent or RV, and away from open flames.
- Use flammable liquids only for their intended purpose.
- Never let children use or play with lighter fluid or have them start a campfire.
- Clear vegetation from around the tent for at least 3 feet.
- Keep lanterns and open flames outside of the tent.
- Completely extinguish fires, and turn off all lanterns and stoves, before going to bed.
Have a safe summer and prevent fires and injuries to your family.
Possession and Use of Fireworks Illegal on Public Lands, National Parks, National Forests
Northeast California fire officials are reminding area residents and visitors to be careful with fire and fireworks when they celebrate Independence Day.
“After our abnormally dry winter, conditions are drying out quickly,” said Eric Ewing, a manager at the Susanville Interagency Fire Center. “We have a tall crop of grass in many areas, and that can feed a wildfire. People need to be extremely careful when camping, driving in the back country and cutting firewood,” he said.
Ewing stressed that it is illegal to possess or use fireworks, including those sold at fireworks stands, in national forests, national parks and on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. County and city governments have various regulations regarding fireworks, and holiday revelers should be familiar with local laws before purchasing or using the devices.
Those planning camping trips should also follow these fire safety tips:
- Keep campfires small, and completely extinguish them before leaving camp. The best method is to douse the fire with water, stir the ashes and douse again, making sure that all ashes are cold to the touch.
- Charcoal should be soaked in water after use.
- Smokers should light up only in areas cleared of all flammable debris. Cigarette butts should never be thrown from vehicle windows.
Those exploring the forests and back country in vehicles must stay on established roads and trails and avoid driving over dry brush and grass that could be ignited by hot exhaust systems. Firewood cutters should operate chainsaws only in the cool morning hours and keep a shovel and fire extinguisher nearby. Chainsaws must be equipped with spark arresters.
Information on current fire dangers is available from any office of the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or CAL FIRE. Local fire departments also have information on fire dangers and restrictions, and local fireworks regulations.