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Friday, June 15, 2012

SCU: Wildland fire incident training June 18-20

A three-day wildfire prevention exercise June 18-20 in the Lexington Basin, south of Los Gatos, signals preparation by the Santa Clara County Fire Department, Cal Fire and other first responders for fire season which officially began Memorial Day.

What: In a CAL FIRE press release, Santa Clara County Battalion Chief Kendall Pearson announced that apparatus from multiple area agencies will participate in the three-day wild land fire training to be ready when the next inferno strikes, more possible this year due to a dry winter.

Why: The annual event, coordinated by the Santa Clara County Fire Chiefs Association, will allow firefighters, police officers, medical volunteers, and other emergency responders to work together during simulated emergency scenarios, During a large fire emergency, different agencies and groups will be involved in addition to fire departments.

Who: Cooperating agencies include the Cal Fire Santa Clara Unit, Town of Los Gatos, Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services Agency, and local government
fire departments.

Large animal evacuation groups and medical volunteers will participate in this year's drill and experience large-scale coordination of resources first hand, he stated in the release.

The Town of Los Gatos will evaluate its hillside emergency evacuation plan, he added.

“Whether the patch on your shoulder says state, county, city, or town, the reality is that we will all be working together to meet the challenges of a major wildfire emergency. No one agency can do it all. Practicing together makes us better performers during the real deal,” said Derek Witmer, division chief for Cal Fire and incident commander for this year's exercise.

Where: in the Lexington Basin, south of Los Gatos, will help public safety agencies better coordinate response in case of large-scale wild land inferno.

The media is invited to an event briefing at Vasona Lake County Park, 333
Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 19.

Access will be provided to the four drill sites including up-close opportunities to see wildfire suppression techniques, structure protection, and tactical size up, according to the release. -

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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