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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

Camp Pendleton Fire Department conducts hazard reduction burn

By Sgt. Keenan Zelazoski | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | May 21, 2016

The Camp Pendleton Fire Department and local fire authorities conducted a hazard reduction burn here, May 21.

The hazard reduction burn was conducted to improve firefighter and public safety, protect property and minimize smoke impacts in the 52 Area, San Clemente and the I-5 Freeway.

“This training area is constantly used for exercises all-year round,” said Jeff Cunliffe-Owen, Assistant Wildland Fire Chief with the Camp Pendleton Fire Department. “We conduct the hazard reduction burn to prevent any fires from spreading and threatening any infrastructure."

The burn aims to protect base property and the natural habitat by decreasing the possibility of human caused ignitions and limiting the severity and size of potential wildfires.

“Environmentally, the burn limits the areas where an actual fire can spread, so it helps maintain native species of grasses,” said Cunliffe-Owen. “The burn also allows Marines to train in this area with a decreased risk of a fire starting or spreading when they train with smoke grenades.”

The Camp Pendleton Fire Department worked together with the Miramar Fire Department, Orange County and San Marcos Fire Authority as well as the U.S. Forest Service throughout the planning and execution of the controlled burn.

“We are constantly improving our interoperability with the Camp Pendleton Fire Department and during these exercises we emphasize communication,” said Kirk Grant, captain with the Orange County Fire Authority. “Communication is key in any organizational structure. If we lose communication, we lose control of the fire very quickly.”

“We’re all firemen,” added Grant. “We all get along. We all have a job at hand and we try to accomplish that as quickly as possible with the least amount of resources needed.”

The burn was completed by mid-afternoon and the Camp Pendleton Fire Department will be monitoring and patrolling the burn site for 24 hours following the end of the burn.