News.bytes Extra, issue 226

Spreading the word about the upcoming fire season

Bureau of Land Management firefighters in northeast California are preparing for the upcoming fire season by getting out and spreading the word about the importance of fire safety. School children are among their most important audiences.

On Thursday, April 6, a fire crew brought Susanville-based engine 3230 to the Standish-Litchfield Community Pride Night celebration in eastern Lassen County. The engine was on display along with units from the Lassen National Forest, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and local departments.

Below, BLM firefighter Craig Wilson shows children the inside of fire engine 3230. A steady stream of children visited the BLM crew.

Young children look up into the cab of a BLM firefighter's truck
Two side doors open, so more children can see
A line of trucks on display at the event

Below, BLM firefighters Wilson, left, and Tim Cannon show a young would-be firefighter the turnout gear used by fire crews.
Would-be young firefighters try on the turnout gear used by fire crews

Below, Eagle Lake Field Office Fire Prevention Officer Karl Todd became Smokey Bear for an evening, and turned out to present awards to Lassen County Science Fair participants whose projects focused on fire prevention and fire safety.
Children welcome Eagle Lake Field Office Fire Prevention Officer Karl Todd, who became Smokey Bear for an evening

The BLM plays an important role in northeast California fire protection, with seven engines spread among stations in Susanville, Ravendale, West Valley (near the Modoc County community of Likely), and Cedarville. The BLM's helitack crew and helicopter are based at the Ravendale Fire Station in the high desert about 50 miles north of Susanville. The 20-person Diamond Mountain Hotshots are based in Susanville and ready through the fire season to battle the toughest wildfires anywhere in the nation.

Staff from the BLM also play an important role in the Susanville Interagency Fire Center, sharing management responsibilities, staffing dispatch consoles and providing fire information services. The center, developed in the early 1970s, was one of the first interagency fire stations in the nation and continues to be a model for multi-agency cooperation in providing the closest available resources to emergency incidents. Other member agencies are the Lassen National Forest, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Lassen-Modoc Unit) and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Together, the SIFC agencies provide fire protection for more than six million acres of BLM-managed public lands, national forests, national park land and private property. The center also provides dispatching services for 20 local departments and ambulance services.

BLM California News.bytes, issue 226