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Forest Service Preparing for Fire Season with June 20th Readiness Drill

Across Lassen National Forest, crews and managers are preparing for fire season by hiring and training people, planning their response by establishing objectives and identifying risks and challenges unique to our area, and by putting crews and equipment in the places most likely to experience fire.

This Thursday, June 20th, the agency will be holding a forestwide preparedness drill.

“It begins mid-morning near Bogard work center on Highway 44,” explains Forest Service spokesperson Amber Marshall. “Fire engines and crews, the Lassen Hotshots, our air attack plane, and helicopter will all be participating in this drill.”

“Scenarios test everything from using hoses, pumps, and equipment, to treating and transporting injured firefighters. Strength and endurance are continually tested and refined as a critical part of the job.”

There is no live fire planned during this drill. This simulation scenario will instead use smoke bombs to add to the realism of the scenario and to help aircraft know where the mock fire is located. Smoke may be visible in the surrounding areas during the day’s training.

“Trainees and firefighting veterans alike benefit greatly during these simulation scenario drills,” said Peter Martens, Lassen Fire Management Planning Specialist. “These drills help fire modules remain well trained and operate as a cohesive unit, giving everyone experience without the real threat of fire. During this drill, we remain ready to respond to any new wildfire activity on the Lassen National Forest.”

Despite two years of average to above-average precipitation, Regional Fire Director Jaime Gamboa knows just how quickly wildfire season can take off.

“We will not get complacent,” Gamboa said. “Our firefighting crews, equipment, and aircraft form one of the largest, most experienced wildland firefighting forces in the world. We’re ready to respond to whatever the season brings.”

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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