U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 383


Community dedicates new BLM fire station in Taft

Firefighters from other agencies and officials from the City of Taft joined the Bureau of Land Management’s Midway fire crew on May 15 to dedicate the BLM crew’s new quarters in Taft. (text continues below)

The Kern County Fire Department provided a large American flag for the ceremony:
A ladder truck hoists a large American flag over the fire station

“We’re looking forward to a great relationship,” said Bob Gorson, Taft city manager.

“BLM is very proud to be a partner with the City of Taft,” said Craig Barnes, BLM state fuels specialist.

BLM has been attempting to get a new station for the Midway crew for years, he said.

Midway was temporarily moved from Carrizo Plain in 2000 to the Bakersfield area while BLM found a new facility in the Carrizo area. 

From 2001-2008, BLM unsuccessfully looked a new facility and encountered numerous obstacles. In October 2008, BLM and the City of Taft agreed to a 20-year lease on the station that was vacated after Kern County Fire Department assumed fire protection duties from the city.

From May 1 to October 1, nine personnel will staff the station every day with a 500-gallon wildland engine, a 250-gallon wildland engine and a water tender. From October 1 to May 1, Midway will be staffed five days a week with three employees.

Taft is a full-service community, with housing and facilities for the fire crew’s families, Barnes noted. BLM will be able to recruit firefighters from Taft College.

Tim Smith, Bakersfield Field Office manager, said BLM and the City of Taft have worked cooperatively on issues for many years. BLM has worked with Taft on its zone of influence and Taft has worked with BLM on the Resource Management Plan for the Carrizo Plain National Monument. BLM and the city are working on potential opportunities for off-highway vehicle use.

In addition to the fire crew, a BLM law enforcement ranger will be based at the fire station. It will also be used as a source of information for people visiting the Carrizo, he added.

“We would like to thank the City of Taft, a Carrizo gateway community, for making its former station available for the BLM crew,” he said.

BLM-California fuels specialist Craig Barnes prepares to cut the ribbon as a large crowd of firefighters and officials gather around:
BLM-California fuels specialist Craig Barnes prepares to cut the ribbon as a large crowd of firefighters and officials gather around

BLM's Bakersfield Field Office Manager Tim Smith presents Taft Mayor Pro-Tem Randy Adams with a framed poster of the Carrizo Plain National Monument:
BLM's Bakersfield Field Office Manager Tim Smith presents Taft Mayor Pro-Tem Randy Adams with a framed poster of the Carrizo Plain National Monument

“We’re looking forward to a great relationship,” said Bob Gorson, Taft city manager.
 “We’re looking forward to a great relationship,” said Bob Gorson, Taft city manager at the podium

- Dave Christy, BLM, 5/20/09


BLM-California News.bytes, issue 383


 
Last updated: 05-20-2009