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CAL FIRE Speaks to IB Chamber of Commerce

Aug 28, 2014 06:23PM ● By Paul Spear
Fire Captain Kendal Bortisser of CAL FIRE did an excellant presentation for the IB Chamber of Commerce Networking Thursday morning the 28th.

The bad news is we are in the middle of a major drought and need about 30 inches of rain in a year to get out of it. The good news is that we now have the best system in place for fighting fires that we ever have and can bring in more assets quicker than ever to fight these fires. A big part of that is the agreements amongst the various fire fighting agencies ever.

He did have a strong recommendation for those who live in fire danger areas. If you clean up the brush around your house and take all the steps you can to protect your property (like fire resistant roofs) they will do their best to help those people first. If you have made no attempt to make your property and house fire safe, there will probably be little they can do to help you!


1.      Statewide is responsible for 31 million acres. In San Diego they are responsible for 1.2 million acres. This makes them the Largest Wildland Firefighting Air Fleet in the World

2.      CAL FIRE’s Initial Attack Philosophy: Keep all 95% of all wildfires contained under 10 acres or less.

3.      CAL FIRE Statewide: 4,700 full time fire professionals, 2,400 seasonal firefighters, 2,600 Volunteers in Prevention, and 4,300 inmates and wards that provide 196 fire crew.

4.      CAL FIRE San Diego: 450 full time fire professionals, 140 seasonal firefighters, 20 to 30 Volunteers in Prevention, and 250 inmates and wards that provide 19 fire crew.

5.      CAL FIRE Equipment: 336 Fire Engines, 196 Emergency Crew Transports, 58 Bulldozers, 12 Emergency Communications Centers, and 12 Mobile Kitchen Units.

6.      CAL FIRE Aircraft: 13 Airbases,  23 Air Tankers (Fixed Wing), 15 Air-Tactical Command, and Control Aircraft, 10 Helibases  with 12 Helicopters (Rotary Wing)

7.      Inmate Hand Crews: 39 Conservation Camps with 196 crews and 4,300 inmate firefighters

Local Government Cooperative Fire: In San Diego County this is comprised of the San Diego County Fire Authority, San Diego Rural Fire District. San Miguel Fire District, Deer Springs Fire District, Pine Valley Fire District. Ramona Municipal Water District, and the Yuima Municipal Water District.

Outlook for the Rest of 2014: Recent rains have helped, but need several more months of non-stop rain. Hiring dedicated Defensible, Space inspectors to help homeowners prepare. Longer and warmer days ahead will only dry conditions out more and lead to potentially more fires.

See Awesome Photo Gallery below!

 Photo credit to: Kevin Pack (K.E. Pack Photography) and CAL FIRE


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