Thursday, 30 May 2024

Cal Fire gears up for 2009 fire season

LAKE COUNTY – The Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit of Cal Fire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, is formally opening fire season on June 1.


The Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, which includes the counties of Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Colusa and Yolo, has already systematically deployed resources to Santa Barbara County and Santa Clara County earlier in the month to assist on large wildland fires.


On June 1, the Unit will have an engine at each of its 20 stations, as well as three bulldozers, 11 fire crews and one helicopter.


The Sonoma Air Attack Base will be staffed on June 15 with a ground crew, two air tankers and an air tactical plane.


Peak unit staffing will be achieved by June 29, with a total of 31 engines, six bulldozers, 11 fire crews, one helicopter, two air tankers and one air tactical plane.


To meet the staffing needs for fire season, Cal Fire augments its permanent workforce with seasonal firefighters. Most seasonal firefighters are returnees with one or more seasons of fire fighting experience.


Newly hired fire fighters will receive their initial training at a recruit academy beginning June 15 in Santa Rosa. Seasonal firefighters receive training in wildland and structural fire fighting as well as required certification in hazardous materials and emergency medical response.


Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit Chief Ernie Loveless wants to remind residents they are required to maintain a 100-foot defensible space around their homes in preparation for fire season.


For information about how they can make their homes fire safe, residents can go to Cal Fire's Web site, www.fire.ca.gov.

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