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October Fire Siege 2007. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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october fire siege 2007
October Fire Siege 2007

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

THE CAL FIRE MISSIONThe Department of Forestry and Fire Protection protects the people of California from fires, responds to emergencies, and protects and enhances forest, range, and watershed values providing social, economic, and environmental benefits to rural and urban citizens.

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October Fire Siege 2007

Direct Protection Area

  • Of California’s 100 million acres approximately
  • 1/3 is CAL FIRE protection
  • 1/3 is federal protection
  • 1/3 is local protection
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October Fire Siege 2007

Initial Attack Philosophy

Fire Protection Objective: Suppress 95% of all wildfires to 10 acres or less

cal fire resources
CAL FIRE Resources



21 Units

6 Contract Counties

804 fire stations

227 state

577 local government

39 Conservation Camps

198 fire crews



Air Attack

13 air attack bases

9 helitack bases



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October Fire Siege 2007

Non-Agency Resources

Contract Resources – Bulldozers, Water tenders, fuel tenders, facilities

Agreements and training before fire season

All contracted resource vendors listed in Emergency Resource Directory

at Cal Fire Emergency Command Centers.

Call When Needed Aircraft

Must be “Carded”

Must sign contract

List maintained by Cal Fire aviation staff and shared statewide

45 Helitankers, 150 Helicopters, 2 Water scooping Air tankers, 1 DC-10

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October Fire Siege 2007


  • In addition to the large fires that occurred, between Oct 20-25 there were 251 vegetation fires started in the south that were caught on initial attack
    • Riverside: 51
    • San Bernardino: 30
    • Orange: 49
    • Los Angeles: 9
    • San Diego: 45
    • Southern 4 National Forests: 67
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October Fire Siege 2007


Pre-deployment of CAL FIRE resources including additional air tankers at Ramona, Hemet, Porterville, Paso Robles, and Fresno

Communication between the involved Contract Counties on pre-deployment and evolving issues in order that we could work together to find solutions

Working relationship between USFS in South Ops. We were able to work closely together to find solutions to problems before they got too big.

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October Fire Siege 2007


Preposition one CAL FIRE engine strike team (two strike teams total) in Ventura County and Los Angeles CountyStaff all CAL FIRE bull dozers in all Southern Region units.Staff one additional ECC dispatcher in San Luis Obispo Unit, San Bernardino Unit, Riverside Unit, San Diego UnitStaff one additional chief officer in San Luis Obispo Unit, San Bernardino Unit, Riverside Unit, San Diego Unit

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October Fire Siege 2007


Staff five Type III Riverside County Fire Departmentengines

Staff one Type III Orange County Fire (ORC) engine strike team, one additional ORC dozer, one additional ORC fire crew



A 7-Day graph of average Relative Humidity at Fremont Canyon RAWS

RH fell sharply early on the 21st, and has now been <12% for 2 ½ days.



A 7-Day graph of maximum wind gusts at Fremont Canyon RAWS

The sharp spike seen early on Sunday Oct. 21 is the Santa Ana onset.

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October Fire Siege 2007


  • Total firefighters: 15,616
    • Engines: 2,585
    • Strike Teams/Task Forces: 263
    • Dozers: 225
    • Handcrews: 298
    • Watertenders: 284
    • Overhead personnel: 1,707
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October Fire Siege 2007


Relatively low serious injury rate among the firefighters, coupled with the intensity of the fire siege, can only be credited to a strong emphasis on safety and situational awareness among the personnel assigned.

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October Fire Siege 2007


The federal grant funding for fuel treatments that was used to open up escape routes and in some instances caused the crowning fire to drop to the ground help save lives, property and money.

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October Fire Siege 2007


Cal Fire was very active and represented at the State Operation Center in both the communications (JIC) and Situation Status functions (along with OES).

Cal Fire immediately assigned a documentation group to begin working on the after action report elements for the department.

Mobilization Centers established at Prado (inmate crews), Chino (other crews and engines), and Madera.

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October Fire Siege 2007

Agreements in Place

Cal Fire maintains Cooperative Agreements with 147 local governmental agencies

Various types

Six Contract County Agreements

Cal Fire maintains Direct Agreements with Six Federal Agencies

Over 400 local Unit with Local Agency Agreements

California Fire Assistance Agreement

California Federal Agencies/Cal Fire/OES for local government resources

20 Cal Fire Cooperative Agreements with other state agencies