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A firefighter with the Camp Pendleton Fire Department ignites dry vegetation with a drip torch during a prescribed burn in the 52 Area of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, May 15, 2021. Over two days, CPFD burned a total of 120 acres. CPFD conducts prescribed burns as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of large wildland fires. Each year, CPFD and partnering agencies cut over 200 acres of firebreaks and burn thousands of acres to help prevent fires aboard the base. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels

Pendleton firefighters prep for 2021 fire season with prescribed burn

17 May 2021 | Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Firefighters from the Camp Pendleton Fire Department and partnering agencies burned over 100 acres during a prescribed burn on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, May 14-15.

The prescribed burns are one of the steps CPFD is taking to prepare for the upcoming fire season. If grasslands on base go unburned for an extended period, the overgrown grass could produce a much hotter and larger fire than normal. The fire department conducts these burns to help minimize the risk of larger wildfires.

“The burns help clear out invasive species, but also mitigates the chance of large-scale wildfires,” said Peter Korodini, a division chief for the Camp Pendleton Fire Department. “Doing this also really helps us refine our skills in a safe, contained environment.”

Within the next month, CPFD firefighters will conduct more prescribed burns and cut firebreaks. Firebreaks are cuts of land made to separate the training areas from residential areas and are vital to the installation’s safety and mission. The firebreaks’ purpose is to prevent a fire from gaining momentum and stopping the progression.

“The plan moving forward is to keep what we've been doing,” said Levi Randolph, a captain with CPFD. “This tool keeps Marines training.”


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