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california wildfire season getting longer

The California Wildfire Season Is Now 4-5 Months Longer

Last December, another major fire plagued California. For over a month, the Thomas Fire blazed through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The destruction surpassed 440 square miles of land scorched and 1,063 structures burned, claiming the title as the largest wildfire in California history. As of December 22nd, more than 8,500 firefighters fought to contain it. It took firefighters until January 12 to reach 100 percent containment, thanks in part to the subsiding Santa Ana

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thomas fire

Why Mudslides Occur After Large Wildfires Like the California Thomas Fire and How to Protect Yourself From Them

In January of 2018, the relief from hazardous weather and extreme conditions did not appear to be in sight for residents of the Golden State.  Devastating mudslides in California killed at least 20 people in early January in the coastal town of Montecito.  Downed trees and power lines as well as cascading boulders made the task of getting to those needing assistance difficult.  The excessive flooding and debris made air transport the only viable form

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wildland tender apparatus lefthand

A Comprehensive Guide to Purchasing Your Next Fire Apparatus in 2018

Purchasing a fire apparatus today can be a complex process of determining your department’s needs, meeting with manufacturers’ representatives, specification development, and securing adequate financial support from your community’s purchasing authority.  To complete the mission of your fire department effectively, the fire crew under your authority must have dependable fire apparatus that are replaced on a maximum lifespan basis. When the purchase price for a customized fire engine is in excess of $250,000, the decision

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New Year, New Ride: Apparatus Trends for 2018

We’ve all seen car ads boasting of the latest features in comfort, safety, and technology – automatic brakes, WiFi hotspots, and so on. By and large, these are nice things that make car travel a safer, more comfortable experience. While fire apparatus aren’t necessarily concerned with comfort, there are some interesting innovations and trends coming in the next year that will enhance safety and operational efficiency.

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volunteer firefighter challenges

Challenges for Volunteer Firefighters

Out of 27,192 fire departments that staff about 1,215,300 firefighting personnel, 32% were career firefighters, 56% were volunteer firefighters, and 12% were paid-per-call firefighters. The statistics compiled by the NFDR highlight a challenge faced by fire departments across the United States. Volunteer fire departments cover vast sections of the country that are not serviced by paid fire services.  Traditionally these departments existed primarily to respond mainly to structure and wildland fires.

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wildland firefighters

California’s “New Normal” Demands New Staff and New Strategies in 2018

Some of the biggest headlines of late show that California has been on fire near continuously over the past couple of months. Agencies such as CAL Fire and the Forestry Service have beefed up their staffing in the face of these unprecedented blazes. The staffing increase is especially underway in Southern California in the face of strong winds and continuous dry conditions throughout the recent fire season. Coupled with the extent of the burnt scrub

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female firefighter

Repairing the Damage: Female Arizona Inmates Serving as Firefighters

Building and maintaining a sufficient crew is an ongoing challenge for many fire companies, and several of these groups struggle to meet that challenge. It isn’t at all uncommon for fire companies to recruit and retain volunteers by drawing from the communities these organizations serve. However, for many areas and municipalities throughout the country, the need for qualified personnel is a bigger problem than the more traditional recruitment strategies can solve. Arizona has discovered one

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thomas fire

Thomas Fire Caps an Unprecedented Fire Season

The final California wildfire of the year, Thomas Fire has been decimating much of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties since early December, 2017. In terms of acreage, this final inferno is the largest in the history of the state. In terms of how the fire has spread and behaved, many veterans claim they’ve never seen anything like it. All up and down the state this season, battling one devastating blaze after another, California has just

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privatized firefighters

Privatized Firefighters Aid Insurance Companies

In the wake of the increase in wildfires throughout the American West, insurance companies are taking the proactive step of hiring and utilizing private fire crews to assist homeowners in more fire-prone areas. While the practice has been in place since the 1970s, these measures have understandably been taken more frequently as of late. Firms such as Pure Insurance and Chubbs Limited have implemented this service for their policyholders over the last decade, and given

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Firetruck Winterization Guide

Winterizing Your Fire Truck: Protecting your Apparatus from Harsh Winters

The winter weather for most people marks the time of the year that brings the holidays, skiing, slick roads, and a chance to hurl a snowball at a loved one or pesky neighbor.  As a firefighter the upcoming winter provides a separate set of challenges that must be recognized to ensure the equipment and personnel responsible for protecting the community are safe.  Historical evidence has shown the firefighting community that extended fire calls are more

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