Lassen National Forest Prepares for Fire Season with Readiness Drill


With temperatures rising and wildfires popping up throughout the state, the Lassen National Forest is taking proactive measures, as it does annually, to prepare for a potentially busy fire season.

A forest-wide preparedness drill will be held this Thursday, June 20, 2024. It begins mid-morning near the Bogard work center on Highway 44. If you are in the area, you will see lots of commotion as Fire engines and crews, the Lassen Hotshots, an air attack plane, and a helicopter gather to participate in this drill.

Forest Service Officials say “scenarios test everything from using hoses, pumps, and equipment, to treating and transporting injured firefighters. It’s an opportunity to test strength and endurance, refining these critical aspects of the job.” Peter Martens, a Fire Management Planning Specialist for Lassen, emphasizes that drills keep fire modules well-trained and cohesive…ensuring readiness to respond to any new wildfire activity in the Lassen National Forest.

You can rest at ease as no live fire will be planned during this drill.  Yet crews will use smoke bombs to add to the realism of the scenario and to help aircraft know where the mock fire is located. Officials warn that you may see smoke in the surrounding areas during the day’s training.

Despite two years of average to above-average precipitation, Regional Fire Director Jaime Gamboa knows just how quickly wildfire season can take off, adding that  crews will be at the ready and vow not to “get complacent.”

The forest-wide drill begins this Thursday near Bogard.