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9th CE firefighters’ wildfire prevention guide

The 2017 California wildland fire season was the most destructive on record. According to CAL FIRE, more than 9,000 fires burned approximately 1.25 million acres. Once again, wildland fire season is in full-swing and the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department has advice to help keep people safe.

9th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters prepare to fight a mock wildfire during a training exercise at Beale Air Force Base, California June 8, 2018. Beale firefighters are responsible for protecting over 23,000 acres of property as well as supporting the surrounding local municipalities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Parsons)

The 2017 California wildland fire season was the most destructive on record. According to CAL FIRE, more than 9,000 fires burned approximately 1.25 million acres. Once again, wildland fire season is in full-swing and the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department has advice to help keep people safe.

Senior Airman Trodon Ratliff, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, secures a fire nozzle before attacking a mock fire line at Beale Air Force Base, California June 8, 2018. In 2017 the state of California experienced more than 9,000 wildfires with approximately 1.25 million acres burned. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Parsons)

The 2017 California wildland fire season was the most destructive on record. According to CAL FIRE, more than 9,000 fires burned approximately 1.25 million acres. Once again, wildland fire season is in full-swing and the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department has advice to help keep people safe.

9th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters use a charged hose line to attack a mock wildfire at Beale Air Force Base, California June 8, 2018. Grassland wildfires can spread at speeds upwards of 14 mph when aided by local wind speeds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Parsons)

The 2017 California wildland fire season was the most destructive on record. According to CAL FIRE, more than 9,000 fires burned approximately 1.25 million acres. Once again, wildland fire season is in full-swing and the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department has advice to help keep people safe.

Staff Sgt. Christopher Holmes, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron crew chief, awaits further instructions after his team completes a wildfire training exercise at Beale Air Force Base, California June 8, 2018. Beale firefighters are responsible for protecting over 23,000 acres of property as well as supporting the surrounding local municipalities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Parsons)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- --

The 2017 California wildland fire season was the most destructive on record. According to CAL FIRE, more than 9,000 fires burned approximately 1.25 million acres. Once again, wildland fire season is in full-swing and the 9th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department has advice to help keep people safe.

 

“Wildfire season in California is from May to November,” said Carey D. Waddell, 9th CES assistant chief fire protection. “People should use common sense fire prevention. Don’t throw cigarettes out, dispose of coals correctly, and make sure your campfire is put out before you leave.”

 

Waddell encourages people to be aware of the weather conditions. During hot conditions, even seemingly harmless things can spark a wildland fire.

 

“A vehicle parked in a field can cause fires,” said Waddell. “The exhaust can get the grass hot enough to where it ignites causing a fire.”

 

When someone encounters a fire they need to call 911 immediately.

 

“Any bystander that sees a fire developing needs to call 911 and get to a safe area. When they call 911 they need to tell the operator who they are, their location, and a call back number,” said Airman 1st Class Christian Capehart, 9th CES firefighter. “When someone is in their residence and they have a wildland fire coming toward them, their best bet is to inform their neighbors and leave the area.”

 

There are preventative steps people can take to help lessen the danger of this fire season.

 

“The main things I tell people are to always be proactive and the best preparation is prevention,” said Waddell. “Make sure you maintain your yard with watering, keep your vegetation low and away from your house. Basically, you are creating a defensible space.”

 

Waddell also stressed the importance of following the instructions of local first responders.

 

“Follow the orders from the emergency operations center whether it is on base or off base,” said Waddell. “If the local emergency operation center declares an evacuation, please evacuate.”

 

For more information on how to prevent wildland fires please visit: http://calfire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/fire_prevention