H-ATASCADERO

Apr 30, 2013 5:31 PM by KSBY Staff

Local fire crews prepare for fire season

With extremely dry conditions and near-record low rain totals, Cal Fire is preparing for high fire season.

In Atascadero Tuesday, Cal Fire held its annual fire preparedness exercise.

Crews have been training for several months for the exercise.

While firefighters are preparing for fire season, Cal Fire asks residents to be careful and avoid activities that could spark a fire.

"The big thing we need now is for the citizens to get prepared," Fire Chief Robert Lewin says. "They need to clear around their homes and make sure their home is defendable when a fire comes."

The crews are mostly made up of prison inmates who volunteer their time.

California Conservation Corp workers also participated in Tuesday's training.

"These inmate fire crews and these CCC fire crews are the army of California," Chief Lewin says. "They're the ones that get out there and beat up the hardest parts of the fire."

They practiced hiking, fire line construction, and other safety exercises.

Tuesday's training means they can maintain their status as type-one fire crews for emergency response throughout California.

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