Extensive winter rain likely to heighten wildfire risk in California

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The Fairview Fire burns on a hillside near an orange grove Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, near Hemet, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

 

(KSWB) – While relentless precipitation across California has eased some of the state’s most concerning environmental conditions, the risk of wildfires along the western coast is likely to increase for residents moving into the dry season.

Because of the recent storms, much of the vegetation that had stunted growth over the last few years due to extreme drought has been replenished, but according to experts, this flush could become the perfect tinder for fast-moving wildfires as the plants dry out in the months ahead.

“When you build up your vegetation to those levels, the fire risk goes up. Just logically, there’s more to burn,” said Dr. Chris Potter, an ecologist with the Earth Sciences Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center. “That’s sort of the downside for our wet years.”

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Calaveras County Volunteer Firefighters

Calaveras County consists of 10 volunteer fire departments:

  • Altavile/Melones
  • Angles Camp
  • Central Fire
  • Copperopolis
  • Ebbetts Pass
  • Calaveras Consolidated Fire
  • Mokelumne Hill
  • Murphys Fire
  • San Andreas
  • West Point Fire

The CCFCA fire agencies are located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, 188 miles east of San Francisco and 135 miles west of Lake Tahoe in California. Found midway on State Highway 49, between Sacramento and Yosemite, Calaveras County links the two towns of the California Gold Country. With an average of 6,000 fire and emergency service calls a year, our 11 fire districts serve a rural area of 45,578 people. We provide fire protection and rescue service to 1,020 square miles of rural area. Our 11 volunteer agencies respond to structure fires, wild land fires, medical emergencies, water rescue, technical rope rescue, hazardous materials spills, public service assistance calls and other emergencies. The Calaveras County Fire Agencies protects an area that is 66% rural wild land, 21% residential, and 3% commercial, including Calaveras Big Trees State Park, a preserve of Giant Sequoia trees, located in the county several miles east of the town of Arnold.

Calaveras County Volunteer Firefighter Selection Criteria

Below is a list of the selection criteria each department requires in order to consider an application for volunteer firefighter. Read the criteria and make sure that you qualify, then click the Apply button to complete your application online.

Fire Department

Must Live in District

Required Certifications

Comments

Altavile/Melones

Yes

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record & in good health. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

Angels Camp

Yes

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record. Physical exam and agility test. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

Central Fire

Yes

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record & in good health. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

Copperopolis

No

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record & in good health. Under 18 Cadet Program available. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

Ebbetts Pass

Yes

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record & in good health. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

Calaveres Consolidated Fire

Yes

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record & in good health. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

Mokelumne Hill

Yes

None

Must be over 18 with a clean background check. Physical exam and pass a drug and alcohol test. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided. Must receive Class B license within the 1 year probation period.
 

Murphys Fire

No

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record & in good health. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

San Andreas

Yes

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record & in good health. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

West Point Fire

Yes

None

Must be over 18 with a clean record & in good health. Valid DL. Participate in an interview. Training provided.

 

Napa County Volunteer Firefighters

  • The NCFA helps protect over 125,000 citizens and has 9 all-volunteer fire stations. We protect thousands of tourists each year who travel to the northern California wine country. With an average of 3,049 fire and emergency service calls a year, our 9 volunteer fire companies serve mostly wild land areas and rural residential.
  • Our volunteers receive state of the art training through the fire academy right in the heart of Napa County. No experience needed!

 

Napa County Volunteer Firefighter Selection Criteria

Although local governments and departments establish different selection criteria, many departments require that volunteers:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Be healthy and in good physical condition
  • Complete basic fire & EMS training
  • Live in close proximity to the fire district
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Meet the minimum ongoing training requirements
  • Respond to a certain percentage of calls

Time requirements vary by department. Time commitment will depend on several factors, such as the number of calls the department receives, training requirements, shift versus on-call structure, and community activities in which the department requires volunteers to participate.

Volunteer departments prefer that volunteers have the ability to respond to calls 24 hours a day, although most departments still accept volunteers who are unable to leave work or other obligations to respond to a call.

Typically, departments pay for training and firefighting equipment. Volunteer firefighting is an unpaid position; however, some departments may provide stipends or reimburse volunteers for certain expenses.

Napa County Firefighters Association

The Napa County Firefighters Association carries the responsibility of manning 9 all-volunteer fire stations out of the 13 NCFD stations. NCFD provides over 300 hours of in-house training to meet California's required Firefighter 1 and 2, plus EMS First Responder standards. All new recruits receive an entry level physical and all required immunizations and our department encourages a daily physical fitness routine.

If you want to make a difference in your community, become a Volunteer Firefighter!