CAL FIRE hosted their annual Type I Fire Crew Certification Exercises this year at the Reader Ranch in Nevada County.

These exercises, held around the state, are an important part of certifying our Fire Crews in preparation for the upcoming wildfire season. Fire Crews not only perform wildland firefighting, but participate in search and rescue, flood control, and other all-risk emergency incidents. The exercise tests the organization and fortitude of these crews by putting them through physical fitness tests, line construction, fire shelter drills, and general readiness exercises.

“Our Type I Fire Crews across the State are truly the backbone of our firefighting resources and perform critical firefighting missions both locally and across the state on large, damaging wildfires,” said CAL FIRE Unit and Fire Chief Brian Estes.

CAL FIRE has longstanding partnerships with the California National Guard, California Conservation Corps and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide fire crew members on these crews. These partnerships allow us to properly staff and maintain critical resources, while providing a fiscally responsible benefit to the people of California. “We could not perform our mission in CAL FIRE without the strength of these Fire Crews and the certification exercises are an important part of crew development and effectiveness in the program,” said Estes.

Crews from the California Conservation Corps Placer Center, Washington Ridge Fire Crew Camp, our CAL FIRE Bear River Fuels Crew and the California National Guard Task Force Rattlesnake 23 Crew are all participating in the exercise this year. New this year we are joined by crews from Shasta and Mendocino CAL FIRE Units.

CAL FIRE also exercises logistics, operations, and planning functions for this drill, which commits over 250 personnel. “Stakeholders and cooperators are a big part of making this exercise a success. We could not do it without support from Reader Ranch and support from Nevada County elected officials and County Staff,” added Chief Estes.