Sunday, March 30, 2014



LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2014) – The Los Angeles Fire Department joins the nation and the Boston Fire Department in mourning the loss of two of their bravest in a nine-alarm fire on March 26, 2014. The LAFD will be represented at the upcoming funerals and memorial services by two of our own members, who will travel to Boston on Monday.  

Through a collaborative effort between the LAFD, the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association, the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112, and Virgin America Inc., two LAFD members from our own Fire Station 33 in South Los Angeles will attend the funerals of Boston Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lieutenant Edward Walsh.  

“We mourn the tragic loss of these two dedicated firefighters and we are proud to stand with our brothers and sisters in public safety in honoring their lives and sacrifice,” said LAFD Interim Chief James Featherstone. “The two LAFD members in Boston will carry with them the support and condolences from all 3,300 men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who know well the risks and challenges of our chosen profession.” 

Related Info Links: 
Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD)

Michael Kennedy and Lieutenant Edward Walsh.---------------------------------------------

CAL FIRE plans to hire more crews ahead of very active wildfire season

CAL FIRE plans to hire more crews due to dry conditions

CAL FIRE has now announced plans to hire more crews ahead of what they believe could be a very active wildfire season. The firefighters will be hired in the Bay Area, the Sacramento foothills and right here in Central California.

Firefighters from all around the state traveled to the Valley last year to battle the massive Rim Fire, which tore through 400 square miles. But crews believe this year could be worse because the severe drought dripping California right now is drying up vegetation, everywhere.

"With these very dry conditions, fire is able to spread much quicker than normal, especially this time of year," said CAL FIRE's Ryan Michaels.
In the past three months alone, Cal Fire went to more than 800 wildfires. But in an average year, they typically combat 300 or fewer fires. In April, 25 season firefighters will join local stations to deal with the sharp increase in calls.

"As we progress into the summer we will go into our peak levels, so we will add on more people then. This is our typical staffing arrangement, it's just much earlier in the season than anticipated" said Michaels.

Crews say the recent rain showers helped soak the parched soil and generate some green grass. But we need many more longer downpours to create a safer terrain.

"What we are concerned with is the brush and vegetation, the timber that are very, very dry. This little rain unfortunately isn't making much of an impact to that," added Michaels.
Firefighters want everyone in the Valley to clear brush and weeds on their property at least 100 feet around their homes. They say creating that defensible space is crucial to keeping your home safe.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wilbur Hot Springs Historic Lodge Destroyed, 60 Guests Safe

 A Saturday morning fire destroyed a historic lodge near the border of Colusa and Lake counties.

 60 guests were at the resort at the time of the fire

The main lodge at Wilbur Hot Springs Historic Lodge, Mineral Baths and Nature Sanctuary near Williams, Calif., was destroyed by a fire that began on the morning of Saturday, March 29, 2014. Meg Solagui/Wilbur Hot Springs resort photo.
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – The main lodge building of the Wilbur Hot Springs Historic Lodge, Mineral Baths and Nature Sanctuary burned in structure fire, according to Northshore Fire Deputy Chief Pat Brown.
Brown and Northshore firefighters, along with resources from several other agencies were on scene for several hours, with the Lake County crew just returning at around 3 p.m.
Brown said Northshore Fire was dispatched at approximately 10:40 a.m. to the lodge, located at 3375 Wilbur Springs Road near Williams.
The recent rain had made the road difficult to travel for the responding fire equipment, Brown said.
The resort is not located within a fire district, but resources from several surrounding districts responded with a lot of equipment and personnel, Brown reported.
Williams Fire sent three engines and a water tender, Maxwell Fire had two engines and a water tender, with the Maxwell chief acting as incident commander. Brown said he and one Northshore Fire engine also responded, and there were two engines and a water tender from the Capay Valley.
Brown said the fire appeared to have started in the kitchen, traveling up to the second floor and across the roof, then back down into the first floor of the building, which he to be about 6,000 square feet in size.
Northshore firefighters worked on the first floor to help salvage what they could, including the lodge's oak tables and chairs, Brown said. “We saved all that.”
Some 60 guests were at the resort at the time of the fire, with Brown saying that at one point he was struggling to make sure everyone was accounted for and safe.
He said that in the end all guests were safe, with the owner suffering some burned hair and another person having smoke inhalation. Medics from Enloe Medical Center in Chico also were on scene but no one was transported.
For Brown, seeing the building destroyed was difficult, as he and other firefighters had fought to save it during the August 2012 Walker Fire, which crossed from Lake into Colusa county.
The resort's outbuildings were not affected by the Saturday fire, Brown said.
He said that because the resort is located in a “no man's zone” between districts, so far no fire investigator has been assigned, and it's his understanding that the building may not have been insured.
According to the resort's Web site, , the resort was established in 1865.
The main lodge destroyed by the Saturday fire had been built in 1915, with additional building and improvements taking place in the years since. The property today includes an 1,800-acre nature preserve, according to the site.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Memorial Service FFPM Paul Cooke March 31, 2014,

FFPM Paul Cooke
Fire Station 92, "B" Platoon, Battalion 17
Fire Fighter Paul Cooke, Fire Station 92, "B" Platoon, Battalion 17, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at the age of 37.  Brother Cooke was a dedicated and respected member who faithfully and honorably served the Citizens of Los Angeles County and his Department.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 31, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at:
If you are unable to attend, please show your support by viewing the Memorial and clicking the live feed button.
Interment service will be private.
Brother Cooke leaves behind his wife Belinda and two daughters. Please keep his family in your thoughts as they work through these difficult times.
A memorial fund has been established for Belinda and her two young daughters through F&A Credit Union.
The Cooke Family Memorial fund
Acct.# 642251
F&A Federal Credit Union
2625 Corporate Place
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(800) 222-1226
US mailSend to above address using account# 642251/S1
OnlineAcct.# 642251 - S1 - COO
If you should have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Local 1014.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Klamath: Alder Conservation Camp Inmate Walk Away Possibly Wearing CAL FIRE Uniform #CaFire #CaLaw

Alder Camp escapee may be wearing CalFire uniform

Corey Joseph Janic, 26
Corey Joseph Janic, 26
Alder Conservation Camp inmate walked away from the facility near Klamath on Wednesday morning and may be dressed as a CalFire employee, authorities said.
Who: Corey Joseph Janic, 26, is a minimum-security inmate serving a five-year sentence from Benito County for first-degree burglary and unlawful taking of a vehicle, according to a statement from the California Correctional Center.
He was described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds with brown eyes and a shaved head.
When: Janic was last seen running from Alder Camp at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Why: After discovering the burglary of a CalFire uniform at Alder Camp, officials suspect that Janic could be wearing the uniform, according to Del Norte sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven.
“There’s a likelihood that he could be responsible for the burglary and passing himself off as a CalFire employee,” Steven said.
Anyone with information about Janic’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the California Correctional Center watch commander at 530-252-3013.

Edited Source:


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

LAFD Immediate Changes To Los Angeles Fire Department’s Firefighter Hiring Process #CaFire

Interim Fire Chief James G. Featherstone has issued the following statement regarding immediate changes to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s firefighter hiring process:

"Mayor Garcetti charged me with, and I am committed to, enacting meaningful and structural reform within the Los Angeles Fire Department. Accordingly, I have been working with the Mayor's Office to review the recruitment and training process, and our work revealed the existence of at least two interview and resume preparation workshops organized by a member of the LAFD. These workshops were advertised via LAFD email and were intended to be limited to members of the LAFD Cadet Program and family of LAFD members.

While these actions may have been conceived in good faith, the result was a recruiting and hiring process that was less than fair and impartial.

Our Professional Standards Division has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the workshops, and we will have no further comment on personnel issues during the course of the investigation.

The current hiring eligibility list will be allowed to expire and the LAFD will not begin any additional recruit training classes using this list.

This is not a decision that was undertaken lightly. However, I believe it is in the best interest of the LAFD that we recruit, hire and train eligible candidates through a transparent and fair process.

While we will continue to have an urgent need to fill our existing vacant positions, it is vital that we update and improve our hiring and recruiting process to give Angelenos the fire department they expect and deserve.

I am confident that the 3,300 sworn men and women firefighters of the LAFD will continue serving our City with the excellence and dedication that they display every day.

We have engaged the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization, to conduct an expedient and multi-phase review of the LAFD hiring process in order to recommend ways to improve our hiring policies and practices.

The recommendations will be aimed at providing an equal opportunity of being hired to all qualified applicants for the position of firefighter and RAND will suggest methods that can be implemented to improve the demographic diversity of future LAFD recruits.

The first phase will last approximately three months, during which time RAND will review our current hiring practices. RAND’s findings will inform the City about the fairness and effectiveness of the current process. If necessary, RAND will provide alternative courses of action to manage the pool of applicants who seek firefighter positions, as well as provide recommendations to update and revise the current process, including the written test and oral interview portion of the examination process.

The second phase will take approximately one year and will involve continuous improvements in the new process, including recruiting methods and the selection of new firefighters.

The RAND Corp. has extensive experience in public safety and military recruiting and personnel retention issues. In 2009, RAND published the results of its project to assist the Los Angeles Police Department with its hiring process."

A link to that report can be found at:


LODD: Briceland Fire Chief Tim Olsen.

LODD: Briceland Chief Tim Olsen

It is with deepest regret that the Briceland Volunteer Fire Department announces the passing of Briceland Fire Chief Tim Olsen on Thursday, March 20 of a massive heart attack while on his way to a meeting with CAL FIRE.

Despite valiant efforts from members of the Briceland Fire District and City Ambulance to revive him, Tim did not survive 

CFN - California Fire News 2013 


Saturday, March 22, 2014

CAL FIRE/USFS South Ops Move To March Air Force Base Closer

RIVERSIDE: Fire operations move goes forward

An air tanker makes a drop of fire retardant in the Cleveland National Forest during The Falls Fire near Lake Elsinore, August, 06, 2013.

Cal Fire, the state’s largest firefighting agency, is closer to relocating its Southern California operations center to former March Air Force Base land now that a state Senate budget subcommittee voted to spend $4 million on the move.
The allocation comes from the $1.4 billion Gov. Jerry Brown budgeted for fire services in the next fiscal year.
The center is home base for fire officials who coordinate the mobilization of resources for wildfires and other incidents from Monterey south to the Mexican border.
Workers are responsible for obtaining reinforcements and equipment -- including air tankers and fire engines -- when wildfires threaten to overwhelm Southern California’s federal, state and local fire crews.
The center is managed cooperatively by the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire.
The new facility would be south of Cactus Avenue and east of Interstate 215 in Moreno Valley. It would not be on the actual March Air Reserve Base, but on land that once was part of the Air Force base.
Still, the move would be good news for March, which this week learned that it could lose about 150 personnel if the Department of Defense’s proposed military budget is passed by Congress. The Combat Camera operation, which consists of about 125 reservists assigned to document anything involving the Air Force, would be cut under the proposal.
Having the fire service near the base could bode well as the Pentagon looks at another round of base closures, said Jamil Dada, chairman of the redevelopment oversight committee for the March Joint Powers Authority.
“The more assets we accumulate at March and around March, the better,” he said. “Cal Fire will play a big part in what the base does.”
He said having more amenities in the region will make it harder to close the base.
“It helps to BRAC-proof the base,” he added in reference to the Base Realignment and Closure committee.
Although the move won’t create new jobs, it will bring more people to shop at local businesses and eat at restaurants.
“It’s a big boost for the community, as well,” Dada said.
State Sen. Richard Roth, who represents the area, was not involved in the project. Nonetheless, he is happy to see it move forward.
“The senator is very happy to see the possibility of an investment at March Air Reserve Base,” said Chuck Daldorf, Roth's chief of staff. “It’s an appropriate place by geography and operationally it makes a lot of sense.”
The current fire operations base, nicknamed “South Ops,” is located in a 58-year-old facility at 2524 Mulberry St. in Riverside, near the convergence of Interstate 215 with the 60 and 91 highways.
It will cost about $50 million to relocate and build the new facility, said Dale Hutchinson, Southern California region chief for Cal Fire. Most of the money is coming from bond sales, he said.
“The project is moving forward,” Hutchinson said. “This $4 million is to deal with an update of the plan and additional onsite work.”
That will include drainage work and permitting, he said.
With more space than the current location, the new center would not only house operations, but dispatch, technical services, engineering and repair, and vehicle maintenance, Hutchinson said. There also will be a large area for a training facility and staging during large fires.
Hutchinson said in the past, portable buildings have had to be moved in to give them enough space during large incidents.
“Now we’re going to be able to have enough office space,” he said.
Hutchinson hopes that ground can be broken in 2015 and the facility completed in 18 months to two years.
South Ops employs about 40 people from Cal Fire, Office of Emergency Services, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The number of employees varies based on the season, Hutchinson said.
Equipment such as trucks and planes are not generally stored at the facility.
A move to March has been contemplated since at least 2000. Plans accelerated when the Riverside interchange was completed in 2007, surrounding the current four-acre facility with freeways.
“It really has encroached on us in a way that we have to move out,” Hutchinson said.
The U.S. Forest Service has held land near the base since 2002, when it accepted title to 40 acres just southeast of Cactus Avenue and Frederick Street. Cal Fire purchased 12.4 acres from the Forest Service in October 2012 to be used for the operations center.


Auto Club Speedway First Responder Appreciation Night , Fontana, CA

Auto Club Speedway First Responder Appreciation Night

WHO: California Fire Foundation
WHAT: NASCAR Auto Club 400
WHERE: Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA
WHEN: March 23, 2014

The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana has partnered again with the California Fire Foundation this year to honor firefighters and the work they do for our communities.  This March, the Auto Club Speedway will recognize all first responders with a special event at the NASCAR Auto Club 400.  

Join fellow firefighters and first responders at the Auto Club 400 on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, CA. Proceeds will benefit the California Fire Foundation, as well as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the California Peace Officers Memorial Foundation. 
You are eligible for a special $99 ticket. The special ticket includes:
  • Reserved Grandstand Tickets (Rows 15-23)
  • Pre-Race Pit Pass
  • Food, Soda, Water, Beer
  • $44 Donation to above named charities
  • Admission to the Fire House Pavilion
  • Special Event Gift                             
Click HERE to purchase your ticket package for the First Responder Appreciation Night! 
Please help spread the word to fellow firefighters about the event by sharing and connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Questions can be directed to Foundation Director Hedi Jalon at 916-641-1707 or; or Curt Jacey, Director of Business Development, Auto Club Speedway, at 909-429-5201

For more information about the California Fire Foundation, visit us


Friday, March 21, 2014

LAFD Evidence special recruitment workshops were organized for relatives of department members

LAFD suspends recruit program amid controversy

Los Angeles Fire Department recruits train at a facility in Panorama City. As part of Thursday's announcement, Garcetti said a new training class scheduled to begin later this year has been canceled. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / March 21, 2014)

New evidence shows special recruitment workshops were organized for relatives of department members

Mayor Eric Garcetti calls process 'fatally flawed' and acts amid concerns over nepotism and mismanagement.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti suspended the city's firefighter recruitment program Thursday amid concerns about mismanagement and nepotism, including new emails that show special recruitment workshops were organized for relatives of department insiders.
"I have determined that the Fire Department's recruiting process is fatally flawed," the mayor said in a statement Thursday.
The action follows a Times report last month that thousands of candidates who passed a written test were excluded from consideration for a new training class because some of their paperwork wasn't received in the first 60 seconds of a filing period last spring. Nearly 25% of the 70 recruits eventually hired were related to LAFD firefighters.
Internal LAFD emails newly obtained by The Times show dozens of department officials were alerted last year that the paperwork, certifying that candidates had passed a physical fitness test, needed to arrive at the city in the first minutes of the filing period if applicants were to have a chance.
Another email discusses a coaching session for relatives of firefighters that was held at a city fire station. The captain who wrote the emails is the focus of a disciplinary investigation. He told The Times he also gave workshops to people not connected to the LAFD.
As part of Thursday's announcement, Garcetti said a new training class scheduled to begin later this year has been canceled. He also said Santa Monica-based Rand Corp. was being retained to conduct a thorough review of LAFD recruitment and hiring practices.
The screening process used for the first new class of LAFD recruits in five years has been criticized as arbitrary and unfair by unsuccessful candidates, City Council members and Interim Fire Chief James G. Featherstone. Critics say qualified applicants, including some with paramedic and firefighting experience, were passed over merely because they failed to meet the unannounced one-minute cutoff.
Officials say the class, which is 60% white and has just one woman, failed to increase diversity at an agency that has struggled to overcome a legacy of discrimination and bias complaints that have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in legal payouts. Garcetti has said the department needs to move more rapidly toward a decades-long goal of reflecting the population of city, which is 29% white.
The mayor's suspension of hiring was criticized by Capt. Frank Lima, president of the union representing rank-and-file LAFD members.
"We're very upset and we're very disappointed with the decision," he said, adding that the move would exacerbate firefighter staffing shortages. He called the internal investigation and the mayor's decision to suspend hiring "crazy" and "political."
The Fire Department declined to comment on the investigation. But documents obtained by The Times show the probe is focused on Capt. Johnny L. Green, a 24-year veteran who has been active in community organizations and mentored youths and new recruits for years.
Records show that the LAFD investigation was launched March 11, several days after Green spoke to The Times about his view of flaws in the hiring process.
Green declined to comment Thursday, citing the internal probe. But in the previous interview, he said he held at least four workshops, three of which were attended by members of the community. "That's what I do," Green said. "I help the community."
During the latest round of hiring, he said he gave workshops to about 75 applicants, including a few dozen LAFD relatives and friends. The workshops focused on interview skills and resume writing. Other department members assisted by participating in mock interview panels, Green said.
He also sent an email, forwarded by a department secretary to dozens of Fire Department members, announcing he would lead workshops at a West L.A. fire station for "LAFD cadets and family members of the LAFD only" to prepare candidates for in-person interviews. One Green email to LAFD members urged recipients to inform applicants they must submit proof they had passed the physical fitness exam to the city Personnel Department as quickly as possible after the filing window opened at 8 a.m. April 22.
"Don't delay, they have to be ready to go. NO exceptions!!!!!!" he wrote on April 19. He also wrote that they expected to meet their quota of several hundred applicants within two minutes.
After a deluge of submissions on April 22, personnel officials quietly decided to extend interview invitations only to 965 applicants deemed to have submitted their paperwork electronically or in person before 8:01 a.m. Personnel officials have acknowledged they did not inform the public that such a cutoff would be used.
Green said he passed along the two-minute warning because that's what applicants who took his workshops were talking about. He said he knew that a flood of email submissions would overload the city's computer system. "It was predictable," he said.
Fire Commissioner Jimmie Woods-Gray, a retired teacher, said she has known Green since he was a student in her South Los Angeles elementary school class. "I don't see Johnny doing anything that's underhanded," she said.
"He likes to help people. He is honest and has high integrity."
Chief Featherstone said: "While these actions may have been conceived in good faith, the result was a recruiting and hiring process that was less than fair and impartial."
Copyright 2014 Los Angeles Times

Thursday, March 20, 2014

CA-BEU Encinal Fire, Vegetation Fire, Monterey County 400 acres 100% contained.

Encinal Fire, CA-BEU-1099 Vegetation Fire, Monterey County

No structure or infrastructure threats, Fire is burning in a remote location making it difficult to access. Fire had spread into surrounding heavy fuels and brush. 

Aerial View From CAL FIRE Aircraft
Update 1800 3-21-14: 400 acres - 100% contained  
Update 0700 3-21-14: Size 400 ac, 50% contained. Firefighters continue to
reinforce containment lines, mop up and fire rehab,
Update 1700 3-20-14:  400 acres & 50% contained.
Update 0800 3-20-14: 400 acres grass, Brush, 30% Containment Approximately 200 firefighters are working to extinguish the wild-land fire, including 2 Strike Teams of crews, an engine Strike Team, a dozer, and air tankers from San Luis Obispo County
Update 1800 3-19-14: 350 acres 0%

Location: Encinal Road, 8 miles South East of Salinas
Date/Time Started: March 19, 2014 4:45 pm 
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE San Benito-Monterey Unit
County: Monterey County
Cause: Escaped private prescribed burn
Total Fire Engines: 3
Total Fire crews: 4
Total Airtankers: 2
Total Helicopters: 1
Total Dozers: 3

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

OCFA: Orange County Fire Authority Blames Golfers For Igniting Grass Fires

Study finds sparks from golf clubs ignite fires Open - Final Round

Robert Laberge/Getty Images

In this file photo, Kevin Stadler makes a shot out of the rough on the 12th hole during the final round of the Open at the CordeValle Golf Club on October 17, 2010 in San Martin, California. Results from a UC Irvine study confirmed that titanium alloy clubs were the cause of at least two blazes on local golf courses, an Orange County fire captain said Wednesday.

Golfers are urged to swing with care after scientists at the University of California, Irvine, proved that titanium-coated clubs can cause course-side vegetation to burst into flames.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said Wednesday that the results confirm a suspicion investigators have had for years: that titanium alloy clubs were the cause of at least two blazes on area golf courses, including one that burned 25 acres at Irvine's Shady Canyon in 2010. A second fire, sparked at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, burned close to homes.
"The common denominator was each golfer used a titanium club, and hit the ball just out of bounds next to dry vegetation where the ground was extremely rocky," he said.
Investigators who were "laughed at" when they first floated the golf club theory have been vindicated, according to Concialdi.
"These clubs produce enough heat — over 3,000 degrees — and enough sparks to start vegetation on fire, and that fire can rapidly grow," Concialdi told KPCC.
Concialdi said investigators ruled out all other causes for the golf course fires and asked UC Irvine to research the golf club angle. 
Scientists then painstakingly re-created in the lab course the conditions on the days of the fires. Using high-speed cameras and electron microscopes, they found that if hit upon a rock, clubs containing titanium can produce sparks of up to 3,000 degrees that will burn for more than a second, said James Earthman, a chemical engineering and materials science professor and an author of the study.
"And that gives the spark plenty of time" to ignite nearby foliage, he said. "Titanium reacts violently with both oxygen and nitrogen in the air."
In contrast, when standard stainless steel clubs were used, there was no reaction.
Most golf clubs have steel heads but many manufacturers also make ones with a titanium alloy component in the head. Such alloys are 40 percent lighter, which can make the club easier to swing, researchers said.
Concialdi said vegetation is so tinder dry this year the Fire Authority is giving golfers using titanium clubs permission to break the rules and "improve their lie" — that is, to move their ball away from rocks and dry vegetation.
"If they need to take a penalty, take a penalty," he said.

Twitter Buttons

****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.

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer." --Abraham Lincoln

View blog top tags

Subscribe via email to California Fire News - Keep track of Cal Fire News

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner