Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chumash to assist in Los Padres fire prevention

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the U.S. forest Service have reached an agreement to team up on forest fire prevention and suppression in Los Padres National Forest.

According to a press release, the plan joins the two in a coalition for "prevention, detection and suppression of wildland fires within their joint protection areas."

The agreement includes provisions for the tribe to assist Los Padres National Forest with a dispatcher based at the forest's Dispatch Center, the tribe's Wildland Fire Department to be listed on the forest's dispatch run card as an initial attack resource and for the band's department to be called to local fires within the forest's response areas along with CalFire and the Vandenburg Air Force Base and Santa Barbara County fire departments.

Additional provisions include the tribe's Wildland Fire Department's availability for special assignments and an opportunity for the department's fire engines to cover the forest and when needed.

-Morgan Hoover

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