A Cal Fire contractor is planning a 10-day prescribed fire training starting Nov. 5 for 20 people with agencies in California, and from as far away as British Columbia and Indonesia.

Classroom and field sessions may include up to 10 days of live-fire operations on private lands in and around West Point, Glencoe, Wilseyville, Arnold and Dorrington, a spokesperson for the training exercise said Wednesday. Base will be Camp Lodestar in Wilseyville.

Participating and sponsoring agencies listed on an announcement include Cal Fire, the Forest Service, Sierra Pacific Industries, Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions (C.H.I.P.S.), the Fire Learning Network, the Watershed Center, Save the Redwoods League, and TREX, the Prescribed Fire Training Exchange.

Scheduled Nov. 5 to Nov. 16, the TREX exercise is billed as “ a novel training event that brings together fire practitioners from diverse backgrounds to obtain hands-on fire experience, share knowledge and expertise, and better understand the art and science of fire management and ecology.”

The trainees coming to Calaveras County work with park districts, fire departments, state forestry agencies, federal land management agencies, universities, consulting agencies and conservation organizations.

They are expected to learn more about and hone skills in burn planning and execution, fire effects monitoring, communicating to internal and external audiences about the role of fire, the need for prescribed fire to restore resilient, healthy forests, and promoting fire-adapted communities.

Professional firefighters and burn bosses will be on site for all live-fire operations and fires will only be ignited under specific environmental conditions, according to organizers. The training exercise has been properly permitted.

Residents may see and smell short-term smoke impacts during the prescribed fire training. Smoke from live-fire operations is expected to be minor compared to wildfires.

The training exercise is supported in part by Promoting Ecosystem Resilience and Fire Adapted Communities Together, a cooperative agreement between the Nature Conservancy, the Forest Service and agencies of the Department of the Interior. It’s also funded by Cal Fire.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.



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