Fire Prevention and Protection

(Last Revised 8/2/2002)

Preventing fires in the forest is an important priority for all employees and logging contractors at MRC. Forestry personnel make regular rounds to inspect the adequacy of fire tools and prevention practices for the on-site logging subcontractors. These include adequate clearings or fire-retardant blankets around yarder cable blocks, spark arresters on chain saws, adequate communications systems and fire tools. Pre-harvest meetings are held with contractors to address important fire prevention issues such as fire safety, access, weather, and the company policy regarding smoking and warming fires. Concentrations of logging created debris, particularly landing slash piles located along fire control ridges are routinely scheduled for burning during the winter period.

MRC meets annually with the local California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CDF) Battalion Chiefs and CDF engineers. This allows CDF personnel to become familiar with all primary road access to MRC property. MRC maintains a "call down" list of critical MRC employees and their emergency phone numbers. MRC also provides significant funding for Mendocino County Aerial Fire Co-op patrol. The patrol is a county-wide aerial patrol, which is completed daily during the peak fire season. All primary access roads are regularly maintained and open for fire truck access on MRC forestlands. MRC employees are provided fire-fighting equipment in their vehicles and trained to efficiently direct fire response traffic. Company-wide communication systems consisting of 100 watt low-band radios, repeaters, and cellular phones provide for effective and quick response. Important helicopter landings are being inventoried and GPS coordinates recorded for emergency response. Where access to available water is limited for firefighting-tenders, MRC is developing water systems with holding tanks and rapid fill capabilities.