Busy time at C.D.F.

A white and Orange CDF Helicopter, aboput 3 ft off the ground, with 2 yellow clad ground crew preparing a netted pakage for pickup.

A CDF Helicopter ready for equipment pickup

 (stock photo taken during training in Bieber earlier this year)

Bieber CA, Wednesday 24 August 2005

Copyright 2005 BigValleyNews.net

Bieber residents have probably been aware of the C.D.F. helicopter being very active this month.  Most of the activity has been to assist in fires nearby in Lassen and Modoc counties.  It is routine to dispatch helicopters and air tankers to even small fires.

Yesterday, late afternoon (August 23) Helicopter 202 was called. along with another helicopter and some air tankers to fight a fire near Soldier Mountain, about 20 miles west of Bieber.  There was quite a bit of radio traffic  indicating many air drops of fire retardant on the fire.  Unofficially this fire only burned about 80 acres and is not burning today.

Because of high fire activity locally, it was necessary to bring in 2 fire crews made up of prisoners from Antelope Camp near Susanville.  Normally, inmates from the nearby Intermountain Conservation camp serve this area.  The inmates, who are trained to fight live fires (not simply cleanup and labor) were seen resting up at the Bieber CDF facility.

Today, about 4.00 PM, our local helicopter 202 was dispatched to assist in a major fire near Lake Tahoe and Lassen/Modoc counties are currently short of helicopter coverage.

BARREL FIRE GROWS TO 8,000 ACRES  (News release from CDF)

Editor's note: The fire is located in Surprise Valley near the Nevada border and a few miles south of the Oregon border

August 24, 2005

The Barrel Fire, a lightning-sparked wildland blaze burning 13-miles east of Fort Bidwell in remote northeast California, has grown to 8,000 acres. More than 300 firefighters, assisted by aerial tankers and helicopters, are battling the fire.

Fire officials said control efforts are being hampered by rugged terrain, high winds and heavy accumulations of dry grass. The fire is burning grass, sagebrush, juniper and white fir, impacting wildlife habitat.

No structures have been damaged, but structure protection was in place yesterday for the Coleman Ranch. There are no threats to the community of Fort Bidwell. There are no reports of firefighter injuries.

An interagency incident management team will oversee the fire fighting effort beginning this morning.

The fire started Sunday, Aug. 21, and was fanned by high winds. It is burning on private land and public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Today, there are five air tankers (three single engine aircraft and two heavy tankers), four helicopters, five bulldozers, 15 fire engines and two water tenders assisting ground crews. There is no estimate of containment or control.

Additional firefighting resources are being assigned to the fire today.