"The Battle Against Wildfires in our Area"
Asst. Chief Michael Meddles
Cal Fire Western Division
Chief Meddles will discuss Cal Fire operations in our area, and particularly how it fights wildfires. He will talk about several major fires, the 1987 fire in Pebble Beach forest, the Soberanes fire in 2016, the Carmel River fire in Salinas Valley, and others. The chief will show videos and photos of these wildfires and reveal how they were battled, the strategies, break throughs, setbacks, and challenges. Cal Fire attacks fires with a multitude of assets—firetrucks, water lines, tools, helicopters, tanker aircraft, bulldozers, and hand crews that sometimes comprise the National Guard and even prisoners. Often the effort involves trenching and starting counter fires. And there’s substantial action behind the scenes, logistics of all sorts, food, kitchens, hotels, and GPS specialists. The details on all this Cal Fire activity are fascinating.
Michael Meddles oversees Cal Fire operations, prevention, personnel, training and fire fighting. He has 27 years of experience in several areas—woodland and structural firefighting, fire prevention and law enforcement, air operations, dispatch and training. He’s held positions as a Firefighter, Fire Lieutenant, Fire Captain, and Battalion Chief, and served 6 1/2 years in the U.S. Army as a Blackhawk Helicopter Crew Chief.