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Annual fire preparedness measures underway at Camp Pendleton

By Cpl. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | May 14, 2018

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Camp Pendleton's average rainfall in dry season is approximately .91 inches, between the dry months of June through October. In extreme cases, the base can go 150 days without rain, making the land vulnerable to wildland fires.

Camp Pendleton’s Fire & Emergency Services are responsible for prevention of wildland fires on the installation. In times of low fire rating danger, firefighters create fire breaks by separating vegetation with dirt road-like paths to systematically barricade fires. They also conduct controlled burns of dry vegetation to reduce the available fuel for future fires.

Emergency preparedness is a priority for Camp Pendleton. Every year, Fire and Emergency personnel conduct safety inspections and prevention awareness training to ensure responders are prepared for future fires. Families on base can assist in reducing impact of wildland fires. Some ways to mitigate the risk of a potential fires are:
• Remove dried leaves and vegetation from yards, roofs and gutters
• Ensure trees are properly maintained and trimmed
• Remove any branches that hang over homes
 
It is also essential that families create an evacuation plan in case of an emergency. This may include an evacuation kit that contains important documents (i.e. birth certificates, social security cards, marriage certificates, diplomas, and etc.). Other important factors families should consider is having fire extinguishers readily available throughout their homes and ensure all fire detectors are working properly.

In the event of a wildland fire breakout on Camp Pendleton, the base Fire Department will establish an Incident Command Post (ICP) to coordinate resources to control the fire. In case a fire can’t be contained by the base Fire Department, the incident commander will request mutual aid. A mutual aid agreement is maintained between Camp Pendleton and the surrounding city, state, and federal fire departments to assist one another in fighting fires.

The Fire Danger Rating system is another tool utilized by leaders on Camp Pendleton when determining what type of activities can and cannot take place during dry conditions. The system has 5 tiers, each of which take into account different levels of weather, humidity, vegetation state and moisture content and provides restrictions to certain types of training and recreational activities. The Fire Danger Rating is displayed at every fire station on base, as well as on the official Camp Pendleton webpage.


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