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Auburn April 22, 2021 – Each year CAL FIRE, in cooperation with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the California Conservation Corps (CCC) and the California National Guard prepare and certify firefighting hand crews for fire season.

CAL FIRE is hosting our annual Type I Fire Crew Certification Exercises this year at the Reader Ranch in Nevada County. We will be certifying our CAL FIRE Nevada Yuba Placer Fire Crews on Wednesday May 5th.

These exercises, held across 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 will test 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 Conversation Corps, the California Department of Corrections, and the California National Guard 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 Placer CCC Fire Center, Washington Ridge Fire Crew Camp, and the California National Guard Task Force Rattlesnake Crew will all be participating in the exercise this year.

“Our hand crews are a very important part of emergency response to wildfires. They are a valuable tool used in the prevention of wildfire by doing the difficult work of fuels reduction”. – Jim Mathias, Assistant Chief – North Division – Washington Ridge Camp and Cal Guard Task Force Rattlesnake.

“The value of safe, competent fire crews cannot be overstated. CAL FIRE, Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit has a vested interest in safeguarding each of you here at home and your fellow citizens statewide”. – Mike Rufenacht, Assistant Chief – East Division – Placer CCC Fire Center.