Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lakeside Crews Assist CalFire at Corte Madera Burn

Pine Valley: For years, CalFire has embarked on an aggressive "fuel reduction" program in the area south of Pine Valley. Placed well within the boundaries of an area that has not seen significant fire activity in years, the hope is to reduce combustible vegetation to acceptable levels.
Lakeside and CalFire crews review the IAP for that day's burn.
Fire is set to the dead slash piles. Eventually the fire is carried into the other fuels.
The planning and preparation for these burns can take a long time. After the burn has been approved, CalFire handcrews cut control lines and piled dead growth into slash piles that are initially ignited to produce enough heat to carry the fire into the standing fuels.
Firefighter-Paramedic Steve Russo monitors the progress of the fire in their division.
A "dust devil" in the smoke column dwarfs the firefighters in the area.
 These controlled burns give Lakeside fire crews an opportunity to work with their counterparts at CalFire and the USFS prior to the start of fire season. This year, Brush 2 (Eucalyptus Hills Station) was sent to assist.

Crews work off a common IAP (Incident Action Plan) which is present on all major fires. The IAP spells out all the activities of fire crews for a given period of time. Very little is left to "guess work" when working off of one of these plans.
Lakeside and CalFire crews stand-by as handcrews ignite fuels in the area.
Sign of a successful burn. Fire carries into the area to be burned consuming the fuels. While this looks like it's out of control, this fire behavior is anticipated.
Lakeside firefighters have had a long-standing relationship with both CalFire and USFS and our residents will often see these agencies in Lakeside helping mitigate emergencies in our community.

Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow
Photos By: Firefighter-Paramedic Steve Russo

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