Ishi Fire Crew exercise east of Red Bluff attracts larger group than last year – Red Bluff Daily News Leave a comment

RED BLUFF — For the past few days, fire crews were trained and tested at the 36th annual Ishi Fire Crew exercise hosted by Cal Fire’s Tehama-Glenn Unit.

Tuesday marked the first day of the three-day training exercise at the Ishi Conservation Camp, about 25 miles east of Red Bluff. There were seven crews that morning who hiked around 4 miles into an incident site, constructed 300 feet of fire line in heavy brush and deployed fire shelters under simulated emergency conditions. They were evaluated on safety performance, physical conditioning, hand line construction and firefighting knowledge.

Crews hike near the Ishi Conservation Camp. (Contributed)

In total, 20 crews took part in the event, which ended Thursday.

Tehama County Fire Department Public Information Officer David Doughty said the success rate is very high during the exercise because crews have trained weeks for it.

Last year there were 11 crews at the exercise, which was smaller due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2019 exercise had 50 fire crews with a total of 750 inmate firefighters and 50 fire captains.

The Ishi Conservation Camp is operated under a cooperative agreement between Cal Fire and the California California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide fire crews for emergency incidents and conservation projects.

Cal Fire operates 30 conservation camps throughout the state in addition to fire crews with California Conservation Corps members. It has begun using firefighter hand crews and California National Guard hand crews in some units.

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