CAL Fire seasonal firefighter applications (2011)

The filing period for the 2011 season is November 1, 2010 through January 31, 2011.

Fire Fighter I is a seasonal, temporary classification used by CAL FIRE. The Fire Fighter I application period usually occurs between November and January and hiring usually occurs between April and June, depending upon the year’s fire and weather conditions.

Fire Fighters I participate in wildland, rural, and structural fire suppression. Fire Fighters I work as members of a fire crew to fight fires, repair equipment, assist with general station housekeeping, and respond to emergency situations, such as medical aid calls.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • 18 years at the time of appointment.
  • Are able to follow oral and written directions
  • Are able to do heavy physical work
  • Are able to exercise good judgment in hazardous fire suppression activity
  • Are able to accept and benefit from training in fire suppression work and techniques
  • Are able to work safely with others
  • Are able to live in a (often rural) fire station compatibly with others
  • Are able to respond quickly to oral commands and/or signals in emergency situations.
  • You have a willingness to live and work in remote areas and on weekends and holidays and remain on duty 24 hours a day, as required
  • You possess at least the minimum visual acuity, color vision, hearing, physical strength, dexterity and agility.
  • Possession of a valid California driver license of the appropriate class issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles is desirable.

You must file a Fire Fighter I Application at each CAL FIRE Unit in which you wish to be considered for appointment.

Applications will be accepted by mail OR in person for the units in the Northern Region. (Southern Region is in-person filing only)

Northern Region Units:

Amador-El Dorado Unit
2840 Mt. Danaher Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-2345

Butte Unit
176 Nelson Avenue
Oroville, CA 95965
(530) 538-7111

Humboldt-Del Norte Unit
118 Fortuna Blvd.
Fortuna, CA 95540
(707) 725-4413

Lassen-Modoc Unit
697-345 Highway 36
Susanville, CA 96130
(530) 257-4171

Mendocino Unit
17501 N. Highway 101
Willits, CA 95490
(707) 459-7414

Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit
13760 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603
(530) 889-0111

San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit
6059 Highway 9/P.O. Drawer F-2
Felton, CA 95018
(831) 335-5355

Santa Clara Unit
15670 Monterey Street
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
(408) 779-2121

Shasta-Trinity Unit
875 Cypress Avenue
Redding, CA 96001
(530) 225-2418

Siskiyou Unit
1809 Fairlane Road
Yreka, CA 96097
(530) 842-3516

Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit
1199 Big Tree Road
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-1400

Tehama-Glenn Unit
604 Antelope Blvd.
Red Bluff, CA 96080
(530) 529-8548

Applications will be accepted on a file-in-person basis ONLY for the units in the Southern Region.

Southern Region Units:

Fresno-Kings Unit
210 S. Academy Avenue
Sanger, CA 93657
(559) 485-7500

Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit
5366 Highway 49 North
Mariposa, CA 95338
(209) 966-3622

Riverside Unit
210 W. San Jacinto
Perris, CA 92570
(951) 940-6900

San Benito-Monterey Unit
2221 Garden Road
Monterey, CA 93940-5385
(831) 333-2600

San Bernardino Unit
3800 N. Sierra Way
San Bernardino, CA 92405
(909) 881-6900

San Diego Unit
2249 Jamacha Road
El Cajon, CA 92019
(619) 590-3100

San Luis Obispo Unit
635 N. Santa Rosa
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 543-4244

Tulare Unit
1968 S. Lovers Lane
Visalia, CA 93277
(559) 732-5954

Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit
785 Mountain Ranch Road
San Andreas, CA 95249
(209) 754-3831
Applications will not be accepted at Sacramento Headquarters, Region Offices, or Conservation Camps.

For more information regarding seasonal firefighting and how to apply download the “Fire Fighter I Fact Sheet.”

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Forests and Climate Change, Not Clearcut

“If you don’t have the law, you argue the facts; if you don’t have the facts, you argue the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law, then you argue the Constitution” – John Adams

Poster from The Green Chain used by permission

It’s not clearcut

At Issue: Clearcutting and Climate Change

On January 27, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a Tucson-based environmental advocacy group, filed suit against my former employer.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) regulates harvesting on California’s non-federal forests. Oddly, CBD isn’t claiming clearcutting 5,000 acres (none of harvest areas are greater than 40 acres[1]) disrupts habitat and thus endangers plants and animals. No, they’ve filed suit because clearcutting, ostensibly, increases global warming. “A clearcut is about as beneficial to the climate as a new coal-fired power plant,” says Brian Nowicki, CBD’s California climate policy director. At issue is whether Cal Fire “failed to carry out any project-specific analysis of the (greenhouse gas) emissions that would come from clearcutting projects it approved.”

“A clearcut is about as beneficial to the climate as a new coal-fired power plant “– Brian” Nowicki, CBD’s California climate policy director

Forests do a good job of soaking up carbon dioxide (CO2), a “greenhouse gas.” When harvesting removes the trees, some of the carbon in the soil, branches, litter, and leaves, escapes back into the atmosphere. It may be more than normal but it’s normal. Forests constantly exchange carbon, pulling CO2 from the air and putting it back through respiration. One textbook I consulted said of a normal forest, “Measurements have shown as much as 20 pounds [of CO2] per acre per hour being liberated from soil.”

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimates 80% of the terrestrially exchanged carbon is done by forests. California’s forests pull more than 14 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 annually from the atmosphere. “Most foresters I talk to feel the 14 million metric tons gross sequestration [the incorporation of carbon into the tree] rate is an underestimate,” said Gary Nakamura, Forestry Specialist for University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Forestry and a member of the California Board of Forestry.

Fires, harvesting, insect kill, disease, and the decomposition of forest products in landfills and composting facilities, return about 10 MMT back to the atmosphere. The numbers squish when squeezed. “The uncertainty in this estimate is roughly ± 38%,” Nakamura said in an email.

While the numbers aren’t certain, CBD is. They’ve defeated others before on this issue. They may win again, despite the science, the facts, or the law; never mind the constitution. “It’s part of an ongoing philosophical struggle between the forces of preservation and the forces of conservation,” Bill Keye, Government Affairs Specialist for the California Licensed Foresters Association (CLFA) told me. “They’ve shut down national forests, now they’ve branched out to private ownerships. They don’t like even-aged management [i.e. clearcutting] and they don’t like us [the forest industry].”

“It’s part of an ongoing philosophical struggle between the forces of preservation and the forces of conservation. They’ve shut down national forests, now they’ve branched out to private ownerships. They don’t like even-aged management and they don’t like us.” – Bill Keye, Government Affairs Specialist for the California Licensed Foresters Association

“Clear-cutting is an abysmal practice that should have been banned long ago due to its impacts on wildlife and water quality,” CBD’s Senior Counsel, Brendan Cummings said in a statement. “Now, in an era where all land-management decisions need to be fully carbon-conscious, there is simply no excuse to continue to allow clear-cutting in California.”

“Now, in an era where all land-management decisions need to be fully carbon-conscious, there is simply no excuse to continue to allow clear-cutting in California.” – CBD Senior Counsel, Brendan Cummings

Different Trees, Different Needs

Yet if we want to keep a healthy mix of trees, there’s not only an excuse to allow clearcutting, there’s a place for clearcutting. Every gardener knows some plants work best in shade and some thrive in full sunlight. The same holds for trees. Some trees, such as ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir, do best in full sunlight. Other trees grow in shaded conditions.

Foresters prescribe clearcutting in order to be able to plant trees that are intolerant to shade. Selection cutting shifts the species mix toward shade-tolerant trees because the ones needing full sunlight won’t be able to compete and will get crowded out. Without major stand disturbance such as fire, logging, or extensive windthrow to create those openings, trees such as ponderosa and Douglas-fir won’t have the conditions they need to survive and will be shaded out.

So, if the desired future is to have ponderosa pines or Douglas-firs in our forests, clearcuts beat selection harvests. The only argument should be over the size of the openings allowed, and after the biological needs of a species are met, it’s a matter of policy. California’s regulations restrict clearcut size to 20-40 acres, the smallest openings allowed in the western United States.

A CBD Win Won’t Help the Environment

However well-intentioned lawsuits such as CBD’s latest against Cal Fire are, they have the power to cause unintended consequences. If Bill Keye is right and CBD’s goal is to end all harvesting, the result is far more pollution, not simply more CO2; results CBD contends they are trying to prevent.

“When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power.”“- Alston Chase, author of “Playing God in Yellowstone.”

Such lawsuits hold the power to shift people away from California’s renewable second-growth forests, and the wood they provide, to non-renewable resources and their more energy-intensive requirements; or perhaps worse, shifting to sources where environmental policies carry little regard. “When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy,” said Alston Chase, author and former philosophy professor, “the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power.”

Never mind the metaphorical coal-fired power plant, real coal-fired power plants will be running harder to create products from substitutes, such as concrete, steel and aluminum. These substitutes require more energy to explore, excavate, smelt, and manufacture.

Our California forests have the capacity to produce all the wood we need and export some as well, yet we import 75% of our wood. And, when we do buy wood, it may not be from places that carefully scrutinize harvests. It’s Kabuki environmentalism and the “zero-cut,” illusion of preservation, getting wood from countries with lax environmental enforcement.

The lawsuit seems to be classic NIMBYism: “think locally, pollute globally.”

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[1] 40 acres is the maximum clearcut size allowed by the Forest Practice Rules

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