County Fire Prepares for First Red Flag Event of the Season

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– In anticipation of the forecasted Red Flag Warning, San Bernardino County Fire has added additional units to augment its on-duty firefighting force.

A Type 1 Strike Team will pre-position to Devore and will be based out of #SBCoFD fire camp.  Comprised of five fire engines and a chief officer, Type 1 teams specialize in structure defense yet are also capable of wildland fire attack.  One of the most wind-prone communities, the Devore location also places this team in an ideal position to rapidly respond to fires that occur in the areas affected by the Red Flag Warning.

Strike Team 6820A is comprised of engines supplied by California’s Office of Emergency Services and staffed with local government personnel. The strike team consists of Battalion Chief 1612, (Chino Valley Fire) – Strike Team Leader; OES 309, (SB County Fire); OES 330 (Colton Fire); OES 328 (Barstow Fire); OES 331 (Montclair Fire), and OES 335 (Apple Valley Fire).

An additional hand crew, San Bernardino County Fire Crew 6-1 (also known as Old Cajon Crew) will augment the hand crews already on duty.  A Type 2/IA crew, Old Cajon has been instrumental as a force multiplier to countless emergency responses in the county as well as the region. County Fire’s heavy equipment crews will continue their 24/7 staffing until weather conditions warrant, typically the first wetting rains/snow of the season.

This additional staffing will commence tonight at 6:00 p.m. and is expected to continue through Friday morning or until the threat subsides.

Pre-Positioning of resources is made possible through California’s Office of Emergency Services which finances the staffing and movement of additional fire apparatus and personnel to effect rapid responses when there is an increased risk of wild fires.

The National Weather Service issues a Red Flag Warning based on expected high winds coupled warm temperatures and low relative humidity, a combination that can lead to explosive fire growth. East to northeast winds are forecasted to begin late tonight in the mountains and valleys.  Speeds are expected to be 20-30 mph with gusts to 50 mph.  Isolated gusts below the Cajon Pass could reach 70 mph.  Relative humidities will be in the single digits.

A ban on outdoor burning remains in effect throughout the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District.  Please exercise caution when engaging in outdoor activities including the use of power tools or any devices that may produce sparks. Remember, the first step in fire protection is prevention.  Have an evacuation plan in place both at home and at work.  Practice them regularly.  For more information on how you can prepare for wildfires, please visit our website at www.sbcfire.org. For information on incidents, follow our Twitter feed: @SBCOUNTYFIRE.

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