CERT in Action!

Brooktrails, CA Wildfire Activation

On the morning of Saturday, June 21, 2008, a lightning strike ignited a fire in Brooktrails near Willits, CA, in the North Coast area. The Brooktrails Fire Department (BTFD) responded, and the team initially dispatched to the scene found a fire burning on a hillside less than a mile away from Brooktrails homes. The Brooktrails Fire Department began fighting the fire, and successfully called Cal-Fire for six air drops of fire retardant. Additional ground fire crews came from outside the local area to support the effort.

CERT volunteers on-scene with fire crews in the background.
CERT volunteers on-scene with fire crews in the background

BTFD Chief Daryl Schoeppner activated the Brooktrails CERT to perform support duties, and six volunteers responded. They relieved BTFD personnel of traffic control duties until the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department arrived to take over. CERT members then went door-to-door along Ridge Road and south of Goose Road and advised residents to evacuate with family, pets, and important possessions. Most families were already preparing to evacuate, but CERT members identified one family requiring assistance, and a Sheriff's Deputy was able to transport them to safety.

Thanks to quick, effective, and well-coordinated work by the first responders, including the CERT volunteers, the fire was contained by early afternoon. The BTFD and CERT members returned to the fire station for a post-operation debrief and lunch.

For more information, please contact Jerry Colvia, citizencorps@CaliforniaVolunteers.ca.gov, (916) 327-7646.