CAL FIRE Lassen-Modoc Unit

The Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit is located in the northeastern part of the State, consisting of Lassen, Modoc, Plumas and portions of Shasta, and Siskiyou counties. There are a total of 1.6 million acres within the Direct Protection Area of the Unit with an average elevation of 5000'.

Vegetation ranges from ponderosa pines, lodgepole pines, and mixed firs along the west side of the Unit, to sage brush, oaks, and annual grasses mixed with juniper in the desert to the east.

Logging, correctional institutions, and recreation are the major economic contributors to the region. Recreation, although seasonal, flourishes during the spring and summer months.

The Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit works closely with other agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, Lassen National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Plumas National Forest, State Department of Fish and Game, Transportation, Highway Patrol, and county and city agencies.

Hot Topics

CAL FIRE Lifts Local Fire Restrictions
- October 27, 2014

Susanville – Northern California?s first significant rainfall of the season, combined with cooler temperatures, has allowed the CAL FIRE Lassen Modoc Plumas Unit to lift restrictions on dooryard debris burning effective Monday, October 27, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.

This means you may burn dooryard debris without a permit.  Permits will not be required until May 1, 2015.  However, you must still contact your local Air Pollution Control District to ensure it?s a permissive burn day.

  • Burn only clean, dry vegetative waste such as leaves, pine needles, and yard clippings.
  • Scrape a clearance of at least 10 feet to bare soil around any burn piles.
  • Always have a shovel and water supply nearby.
  • An adult needs to be in attendance at all times.
  • Never burn on windy days.
  • Piles should be no larger than four feet in diameter and four feet high. Break larger piles down, and add to the pile as it burns down.
  • Never burn trash, painted wood or other debris.

This fire season has kept firefighters across the State very busy as fire activity has been significantly higher this year. While we recognize the need and convenience of being able to burn yard debris, it is important that residents monitor the weather closely, as a warming trend could increase the fire threat. If you must burn, use extreme caution.  Never leave your fire unattended.  If a debris burn escapes your control you could be held liable. Learn how to prevent wildfires at

Burn Ban in Effect July 1, 2014
- July 1, 2014

Susanville ? CAL FIRE announces all dooryard burn permits within Lassen, Modoc and Plumas Counties are SUSPENDED as of midnight June 30, 2014. The burn ban will continue until formally cancelled by CAL FIRE.  Dooryard burn permits will not be issued and dooryard burning is not allowed during this time.

So far this year, CAL FIRE has responded to over 2,257 wildfires across the state.  This is well above the year-to-date average of 1,394 wildfires. Unfortunately, the seasonal outlook does not offer much better news, as it calls for above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation over the next several months.  This means the potential for large fires is greater than usual.

With this in mind, CAL FIRE encourages residents to remove fire hazards around their home.  Though it may not be possible to keep a green lawn this year due to water conservation efforts, keeping the lawn short and clearing fuels from around your home will help slow the spread of fire.

CAL FIRE is doing their part to conserve water, and asks residents to do the same during this drought emergency.  Please remember, every gallon of water saved in and around your home is a gallon that firefighters can use to protect California from wildfires.

Unit Chief Jeff Young Retires
- July 1, 2014

youngchief2CAL FIRE staff says ?goodbye? and ?thank you? to Unit Chief Jeff Young who retired on June 30, 2014.  Chief Young began his career with CAL FIRE in 1983, as a Firefighter I at the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit. He worked as an Administrative Assistant and limited term Fire Apparatus Engineer (FAE) from 1986-1987 before attaining a permanent FAE appointment in 1988, at the Fresno-Kings Unit.

During Chief Young?s career, he has worked in three Units in a variety of assignments at State and local government fire stations, the Conservation Camp, Inmate and Unit Training Programs and the CAL FIRE Academy. He has been involved with CAL FIRE?s Incident Management Teams for over 10 years in a variety of positions ultimately serving as the Logistics Section Chief for IMT #1. He served on a variety of working groups and cadres throughout his career including the Complex Incident Management Course and has been a member of Serious Accident Review Teams. Jeff has an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration.

We congratulate Jeff and his family on his retirement and thank him for his 28+ years of service with our Department and to the citizens of California. We wish him a very long and enjoyable retirement.

Obtaining a Burn Permit
- May 16, 2014

Effective Thursday, May 1st, 2014 the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Lassen ? Modoc ? Plumas Unit began requiring dooryard burning permits for residential burning on State Responsibility Area Lands. To obtain a burn permit, visit one of the following locations:

Modoc County

  • CALFIRE Alturas Station ? Alturas
  • CALFIRE Deer Springs Station ? CalPines
  • USFS Supervisor?s Office ? Alturas
  • USFS Big Valley Ranger District ? Adin
  • USFS Doublehead Ranger District ? Tulelake
  • USFS Warner Mountain Ranger District ? Cedarville
  • BLM Alturas Field Office ? Alturas
  • BLM Surprise Valley Field Office ? Cedarville
  • Likely Fire Protection District ? Likely

Lassen County

  • CALFIRE Bieber Station ? Bieber
  • CALFIRE Susanville Station ? Susanville
  • CALFIRE Westwood Station ? Westwood
  • USFS Supervisor?s Office ? Susanville
  • USFS Eagle Lake Ranger District ? Susanville
  • USFS Hat Creek Ranger District ? Fall River Mills
  • BLM Eagle Lake Field Office ? Eagle Lake
  • Spaulding Fire Department ? Spaulding
  • Herlong Volunteer Fire Department ? Herlong
  • Standish-Litchfield Fire Protection District ? Standish
  • Janesville Fire Protection District ? Janesville

Plumas County

  • USFS Supervisor?s Office ? Quincy
  • USFS Almanor Ranger District ? Chester
  • USFS Mt. Hough Ranger District ? Quincy
  • USFS Beckwourth Ranger District ? Blairsden
  • USFS Feather River Ranger District – Oroville
  • Peninsula Fire Protection District – Lake Almanor
  • Chester Fire Protection District – Chester

CAL FIRE Continues to Staff Up in Northern California
- May 9, 2014

Sacramento ? With Wildfire Awareness Week well into swing, CAL FIRE plans to increase its staffing in Northern California in continued preparation for fire season. Starting Monday, May 12, CAL FIRE will transition into fire season in the counties of Butte, Tehama, Glenn, Shasta, Trinity, Lassen, Modoc and Plumas. CAL FIRE transitioned into fire season across the Bay Area and Sacramento region on May 5. Since late January, CAL FIRE has been hiring and training seasonal firefighters well ahead of schedule in order to augment its full-time firefighting force.
?We have been increasing our staffing levels since January as drought conditions have continued to leave our region in an elevated threat for wildfires,? said Chief Keith Larkin, CAL FIRE Northern Region chief. ?As we are staffed up, we continue to ask the public to ensure they too are prepared for this year?s fire season.?

This year, CAL FIRE has already responded to nearly 1,300 wildfires, more than twice as many fires as average. With fire season now officially underway in these areas, CAL FIRE is asking homeowners to ensure that they are prepared for wildfires and that every home has 100 feet of Defensible Space.

Here are some tips to help prepare your home:

  • Maintain 100 feet of Defensible Space
  • Clear all pine needles and leaves from your yard, roof and rain gutters.
  • Trim branches six feet from the ground.
  • Landscape with fire resistant/drought tolerant plants

Residents and visitors are also warned to take steps to prevent wildfires by remembering that One Less Spark, means One Less Wildfire.

  • Use trimming, mowing and powered equipment outdoors before 10 a.m.
  • Check to ensure burning outdoors is allowed in your area. CAL FIRE has banned outdoor burning in many areas or has required a burn permit.
  • Completely extinguish all campfires.
  • Make sure trailer chains and other parts of your vehicle are not dragging on the road.

For more information on preparing for wildfires and Defensible Space

Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste ? visit to find out how everyone can do their part, and visit Drought.CA.Gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.

Fire Season Declared in LMU
- May 9, 2014

Susanville – The Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit of CAL FIRE will officially declare the opening of wildfire season Monday, May 12th.  This announcement is made each year to remind residents that as the weather warms, fire risks increase.

The Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit began staffing fire stations on April 28th and anticipates full staffing by June 16th. Though fire restrictions are not currently in effect, residents need to be safe with fire and pay attention to conditions as we move into the summer months.  Permits for outdoor burning have been required since May 1st.  Those permits will be suspended on July 1st or sooner if conditions change.  The lack of precipitation may necessitate a statewide burn ban this year, so keep informed on burn restrictions by visiting our website at

CAL FIRE encourages residents to continue working to create 100? of defensible space around their homes.   Defensible space is essential to improve your home?s chance of surviving a wildfire.  It?s the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs and any wildland areas that surround it.  This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and for the protection of firefighters defending your home.

When clearing around your home, take these precautions:

  • Do all yard maintenance that requires a gas or electrical motor before 10 a.m. Not in the heat of the day, or when the wind is blowing!
  • Lawn mowers are designed to mow lawns. Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation.
  • Use a weed trimmer to cut down dry weeds and grass.
  • Remove rocks in the area before you begin operating any equipment. A rock hidden in grass or weeds is enough to start a fire when struck by a metal blade.

Burn Permits Required Effective May 1, 2014
- May 7, 2014

Susanville ? Effective Thursday, May 1st, 2014 the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Lassen ? Modoc ? Plumas Unit will require dooryard burning permits for residential burning within Lassen, Modoc and Plumas Counties

Burning permits are required from May 1st, 2014 to midnight June 30th, 2014 for all residential burning on State Responsibility Area Lands.

  • Burning can only be done on permissive burn days. To find out if it is a permissive burn day, contact your local Air Pollution Control District (APCD).
  • Lassen County ? (530) 257-2876 or 257-BURN
  • Modoc County ? (530) 233-6401 or (530) 640-2900
  • Plumas County ?
  • Portola: (530) 832-4528                      Quincy: (530) 283-3602
  • Greenville: (530) 284-6520                 Chester: (530) 258-2588
  • At midnight June 30, 2014, a burning suspension will go into effect until the end of the declared fire season or until lifted by the Unit Chief.
  • Only natural vegetative material such as leaves, pine needles and tree trimmings may be burned
  • Household garbage may NOT be burned
  • Do not burn on windy days
  • You cannot burn in a burn barrel unless you have received authorization from your APCD
  • Burning can only be done during permissive times.

o    Burn hours for Lassen County are as follows:

May 1, 2014 through May 31, 2014 – Open Hours

June 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014 – 5 a.m. to Noon

o   Burn hours for Modoc County are as follows:

May 1, 2014 through May 31, 2014 ? Open Hours

June 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014 ? 7 p.m. to 10 a.m.

o   Burn hours for Plumas County are as follows:

May 1, 2014 through May 31, 2014 ? Open Hours

June 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014 ? 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.

  • You must have a signed permit in your possession while you are burning and you are responsible for maintaining control of your fire at all times.
  • Possession of a permit does not protect you if your burn escapes. You are still liable for any suppression costs.
  • If a burn escapes your control, you should seek help immediately. Wildfires can spread very quickly. A fast response from the fire department can reduce suppression cost considerably. Remember, you may be billed for suppression costs, so the sooner you seek help the better the outcome may be.
  • Simple common sense can greatly reduce the chance of an escape. If you don?t feel it?s safe to conduct a burn, then don?t.

The lack of precipitation this winter may necessitate an early burn suspension.  Please keep informed about burn restrictions

Railcar Safety Training
- July 16, 2013

CALFIRE Staff attend Railcar Safety Training

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.

Fill the Boot Drive
- July 16, 2013

Susanville – Firefighters from the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit of CALFIRE will be holding their annual Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) ‘Fill the Boot’ fundraiser on Saturday, July 20, 2013.

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.

Strong Winds Prompt CAL FIRE to Increase Staffing
- May 31, 2013

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


For more ways to help prevent and prepare for wildfires: or

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