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Marin County firefighters initiate large controlled burn to reduce wildfire threat


MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) – In the North Bay, one of the biggest wildfire prevention efforts this season is unfolding, dozens of acres are part of a controlled burn to create a huge par -fire near communities. It was also a first-hand training for new firefighters who might be needed during the long, hot summer.

The mission was to ignite and burn almost every inch of this dry Novato hill.

More than 100 firefighters from across Marin County are participating in a massive controlled burn Thursday, the largest of the season.

“We’re going to burn up to a hundred acres if the prescription holds,” said Marin County Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Overshiner.

WHAT TO KNOW: Fires burning in or near Sunol, Benicia, Vacaville, Port Costa, San Mateo Co.

The goal is to create a giant firebreak in an area that hasn’t seen a major fire in years, but drought is increasing the risk factors.

“Everything is already drying up, approaching critical levels here next month,” he added.

This burn was also a real-time training course for 40 new seasonal firefighters like Jake Murphy who will likely be needed this summer.

“California is such a beautiful place, being part of a group protecting structures and land is one of my motivations,” Murphy said.

TAKE ACTION: Tips for helping and staying safe during and after a wildfire

Firefighter Christian Reyes was helping train the new recruits, teaching them how to manage a giant swath of defensible space that could help stop wildfires this season.

“Obviously we’re helping our community by reducing the amount of fuel we have,” Reyes said.

Controlled burning will continue on Friday.

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