Meadow Valley to host multiagency wildland fire exercise

Feather Publishing
The Meadow Valley Fire Department is an integral player in the upcoming wildland fire drill hosted in its district. Photos submitted

The Plumas County Office of Emergency Services, Plumas National Forest and the Meadow Valley Volunteer Fire Department, along with many others, will be conducting a wildland fire training exercise in Meadow Valley on Sunday, June 1.

According to Jerry Sipe, Plumas County Office of Emergency Services director, “although there is no actual fire, residents should expect emergency vehicles and operations throughout the community.” Most of the drill will occur between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The objectives of this training exercise are to test and improve the participating agencies’ notification, response, coordination and communication systems used during an incident in addition to expanding participants’ knowledge and use of the incident command system.

Other objectives include increasing community awareness about the Firewise communities program, how to create defensible space around homes and how to be prepared for an evacuation.

“Our training exercise is based on a fire starting west of Silver Creek Road in Meadow Valley,” said Meadow Valley Fire Chief Ron Heinbockel. Fire suppression resources will include local volunteer fire departments, USDA Forest Service and CalFire.

The Plumas County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and Plumas County Search and Rescue will be simulating an evacuation. The American Red Cross, Plumas County Social Services, Public Health and all Plumas County hospitals will simulate emergency shelter operations at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds. The operations will include an animal shelter component simulated by the Plumas County Agriculture Department.

Other cooperators include the California Office of Emergency Services, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Soper Wheeler, Plumas Amateur Radio Club and private landowners.


Community information

In addition to individual outreach being conducted by the Meadow Valley Volunteer Fire Department, two community meetings have been scheduled. The pre-meeting is Thursday, May 8, from 7 to 8 p.m. and the post-meeting is Thursday, June 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. Both will be held at the Meadow Valley Community Church to ensure access for people with special needs. Various Firewise meetings will be scheduled throughout the season.


Information resources

More information is available from the Plumas County Office of Emergency Services (, Plumas County Fire Safe Council ( and Firewise Community Program (

Incident information during the training exercise and in the event of an actual Plumas National Forest fire may be found at

Questions may be directed to Lori Pini, health education coordinator with Plumas County Public Health Agency/Office of Emergency Services, 283-6988 or

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