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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Wildfire training on Pendleton builds cohesion among local fire Depts.

By Cpl. Damien Gutierrez | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | June 19, 2012

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An instructor during this year's wild land fire training exercise starts a small controlled burn to help fire fighters from all across San Diego prepare for fires that might occur on Camp Pendleton, June 15. The base's fire department reacts to more than 300 wild fires aboard the base annually, making continuous training and team building exercises crucial.

An instructor during this year's wild land fire training exercise starts a small controlled burn to help fire fighters from all across San Diego prepare for fires that might occur on Camp Pendleton, June 15. The base's fire department reacts to more than 300 wild fires aboard the base annually, making continuous training and team building exercises crucial. (Photo by Cpl. Damien Gutierrez)


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Fire fighters rest after successfully extinguishing a controlled burn during this year’s wild land fire training exercise on Camp Pendleton, June 15.

Fire fighters rest after successfully extinguishing a controlled burn during this year’s wild land fire training exercise on Camp Pendleton, June 15. (Photo by Cpl. Damien Gutierrez)


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Instructors watch a controlled burn’s behavior during this year’s wild land fire training exercise on Camp Pendleton, June 15. The training not only affected those battling the fires on the ground but also gave an opportunity for the fire departments’ chiefs and commanders, who were supervising the training procedures from on top of hills, to practice where to disperse their men and study how the fires spread aboard the base.

Instructors watch a controlled burn’s behavior during this year’s wild land fire training exercise on Camp Pendleton, June 15. The training not only affected those battling the fires on the ground but also gave an opportunity for the fire departments’ chiefs and commanders, who were supervising the training procedures from on top of hills, to practice where to disperse their men and study how the fires spread aboard the base. (Photo by Cpl. Damien Gutierrez)


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Fire fighters from across San Diego walk the perimeter of a controlled burn to ensure it extinguished during this year’s wild land fire training exercise on Camp Pendleton, June 15. During the training, instructors started small controlled fires, and had each crew focus on working together to surround the fire and contain it from spreading outwards.

Fire fighters from across San Diego walk the perimeter of a controlled burn to ensure it extinguished during this year’s wild land fire training exercise on Camp Pendleton, June 15. During the training, instructors started small controlled fires, and had each crew focus on working together to surround the fire and contain it from spreading outwards. (Photo by Cpl. Damien Gutierrez)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --   Camp Pendleton’s Fire Department along side fire-fighting agencies from across San Diego County gathered on base to conduct wild land fire training scenarios in preparation for fire season, June 15.

Since Camp Pendleton covers more than 125,000 acres, it is necessary for the base fire department to work together with outside fire departments to assist with fire containment, in defeating what destroyed nearly 100 acres last year.

"The training scenarios are designed to make the firefighters work as one and helps build communication skills among the different fire departments," said Jeffery Wilkerson, deputy fire chief, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Fire Dept. ”It’s important that we practice these procedures now so we can find our weakness before it’s too late.”

During the training, instructors started small controlled fires, and had each crew focus on working together to surround the fire and contain it from spreading outwards.

“Our goal is to prepare the men and women for the unpredictability that the fires on Pendleton possess,” said Wilkerson. “The fires here on base can get out of control fairly easily, so it’s important we join together and practice our techniques so we can study its behavior firsthand.”

The training not only affected those battling the fires on the ground but also gave an opportunity for the fire departments’ chiefs and commanders, who were supervising the training procedures from on top of hills, to practice where to disperse their men and study how the fires spread aboard the base.

“This was a great learning lesson for us all,” said Wilkerson. “The training we receive here today is paramount when trying to tame fires that are at this level of intensity.”

For more information about fire safety on Camp Pendleton log onto, http://www.marines.mil/unit/basecamppendleton/Pages/Information/FireInformation/Home.aspx

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