Friday, October 15, 2010

Ukiah Fire Department Explorers Cow mountain work project

On Sun Oct 3, 2010 the UFD Explorers and an Engine crew from Cal Fire Ukiah Station preformed a work project on N. Cow Mtn at the Willow Creek Recreation Area near the Rifle Range.

Explorers Background: Fire Explorers are young men and women ages 14-18 with an interest in the fire and emergency service fields. Explorers train to the same level as firefighters. They also ride along on fire engines and ambulances performing duties under the supervision of fire department staff. Fire Explorers also perform community service and raise money to attend an Explorer Academy once a year.

Project Background: At some point, someone or some group had installed a foot bridge at the Willow Creek Recreation Area of BLM’s N. Cow Mtn. This foot bridge allowed access from the parking area across Willow Creek to both the Valley View trail and the Mayacmas trail. The Valley View trail, as the name implies has great views of the Ukiah Valley, the Mayacmas trail has a seasonal waterfall on Willow Creek. Over the years over the years vegetation has encroached on the bridge allowing silt to accumulate around the foot bridge. The Bridge effectively became a dam causing the seasonal creek to flood the trailhead making the area impassable. Additionally people had been using the parking area as a target range, the area had become littered with trash, shotgun shells, TV’s and other appliances. 

The Project: In an attempt to alleviate the above problems the Fire Explorers organized a work project with the Ukiah BLM field office. Due to the Explorers being under 18, Cal Fire-Ukiah Station Engine 1165 agreed to attend and perform chain saw work for the project.  The Crew of 14 people rehabbed about 300’ of heavily over grown and silted creek bed, cleared another 300’ of trail, and picked up two pickup truck beds worth of trash. The crew put in 56 man hours worth of work. In addition to the benefits to the public by making the area accessible during wet months, Explorers got to train in the use of hand tools similar to wildland firefighting, working together and physical activity. Cal Fire was able to get chain saw training hours for their seasonal firefighters. Explorers intend to keep an eye on this location and perform additional repairs as needed.

Note: Explorers are 100% volunteer, one UFD full time and one volunteer firefighter also volunteered their time. The Cal Fire Crew was able to participate as part of there on duty time.
Are you interested in becoming an Explorer with the Ukiah Fire Dept? - Young men and women between the ages of 14-18 can call (707) 463-6276 or come by the station at 300 Seminary Ave for more information.

Here is a web page with more detailed info
Here is the YouTube link to the Video
Here is a link to pictures of the day

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