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Fuels Reduction Project Underway

Fuels Reduction Project Underway
Aug 22 - Glen Helen 1, County Fire's first Inmate Hand Crew, have been busy removing a potential fire hazard by chipping two mountainous slash piles of wood, branches and small tree stumps located just below the Mountains Community Hospital in Lake Arrowhead and adjacent to the new MacKay Park.

The Chipping Project started on August 21 and is expected to continue for several weeks. Once the project is complete, a private contractor will remove the wood chips.

Glen Helen 1 began their training in May and have been ready to respond since July. The hand crew curriculum consists of 5 weeks of initial training in wildland fire suppression techniques, along with the basic Incident Command System, first-aid, CPR, chainsaw training, small engine and facility repair.

When not assigned to a fire suppression incident, the crew will conduct other functions, to include local fuels reduction programs and chipping operations, as well as sand bagging operations.

This program couldn’t have come at a better time, with San Bernardino County facing an elevated fire season this year. “The groundbreaking pilot program is a valuable local resource readily available in San Bernardino County” stated Chief Mark Hartwig at the June 26th kick-off. “We hope this hand crew is the first of many more to come and plan to continue expansion of the program.”

San Bernardino County Fire and County Sheriff are committed to protecting the communities we serve with safety first. Residents are encouraged to be prepared for a wildland fire and know what to do when asked to evacuate. Learn how the READY! SET! GO! program can help you be prepared for such an occurrence.

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