Students participate in Plumas Cal-TREX

Plumas fire experts train next generation in prescribed fire techniques
Posted on 05/13/2024

Plumas Underburn Cooperative once again hosted their annual prescribed fire training program, Plumas Cal-TREX. This year's event marked the fifth installment of the program in Plumas County, but with a unique twist – the active involvement of local students from Plumas Charter School.

In collaboration with the Plumas Fire Safe Council, students were given the opportunity to participate in the final day of the week-long TREX program, engaging in hands-on training sessions covering a variety of essential topics related to prescribed fire implementation. Students participated in the morning briefing with the other TREX participants, and from there broke out as their own crew for the day. Students walked a prescribed burn that was implemented the previous day learning about the “mop up” process and observing fire effects. Then, they received instruction on the components of developing a burn plan. Students prepared a half-acre unit by creating handlines. After learning about the different roles within a prescribed burn team and being broken out into squads with these roles, students implemented a prescribed burn under the guidance of seasoned professionals.

Program manager Logan Krahenbuhl said that it was exciting for the trainers to share with the students how they plan, prep and implement a prescribed fire in the span of a few hours. He also commented on the students' interest and attentiveness during the training. “They were being extremely careful and gentle, which shows me that they were working with respect and gratitude.” 

The involvement of students in the TREX program represents a significant step forward in fostering the next generation of fire practitioners in Plumas County. By building upon the foundational training the PCS students learned during the Basic 32 program in the fall, students are equipped with practical skills and a deeper understanding of the importance of prescribed fire in the region's ecosystem management and wildfire mitigation efforts.

By Rachel Goings, Public Relations Specialist  [email protected]
Photo Above: Students actively contribute to a prescribed burn, applying their newly acquired skills and knowledge in a controlled environment. From left, Mallory Tyler, FRC Instructor Jon Dvorak, Liam Carmichael and Ruthie Barrett. Photo by Courtney Gomola.