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Four SoCal Trainings Kick Off Indigenous Fire Stewardship Pathway for 2023

Fire is an inherent and necessary feature of our landscape. Through technical training combined with regional climate science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Stewardship Pathways training participants learn valuable skills that can help build a career path around wildland fire management, Indigenous fire stewardship, and fuels reduction.

Trainees wearing yellow jackets and hardhats stand together in a dry grassy field, holding a yellow water hose
Photo by Jennifer MacDonald

The Stewardship Pathways Indigenous Fire Stewardship training program is unique in that it brings technical training together with climate science and traditional knowledge. Through these cost-free training events, participants learn about Tribal fire stewardship and prescribed fire while receiving the certifications necessary to become a wildland firefighter and Tribal monitor working on the fire line. The program would not be possible without the leadership of the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians and the Southern California Interagency Wildland Fire and Fuels Cadre, a group of agency partners who contribute their time and expertise to plan and implement all training.

These Indigenous Fire Stewardship trainings were held to start off the Stewardship Pathways Indigenous Fire Stewardship Training Program in 2023.

S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws hosted on January 16-20 by the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians

For 16 participants, this course provided an introduction to the function, maintenance and use of internal combustion engine powered chainsaws, and their tactical wildland fire application. Field exercises supported entry level training for firefighters with little or no previous experience in operating a chainsaw, providing hands-on cutting experience in surroundings similar to fireline situations. Learn more about the event from our partners at Tribal Nations News.

Basic Firefighter Training hosted on January 30 - February 3 by the Cahuilla Band of Indians

This week-long training covered NWCG course L-180 (Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service), S-110 (Basic Wildland Fire Orientation), S-130 (Firefighter Training), and S-190 (Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior) for 12 participants. Exercises supported participants with no experience in wildland fire and who hope to qualify as firefighters and incident and support personnel.

S-211 Portable Pumps and Water Use hosted on February 13-15 by the Pala Band of Mission Indians

For 16 participants, this course provided knowledge and skills to design, setup, operate, troubleshoot, and shut down portable water delivery systems. Topics covered included: portable water delivery systems; equipment; roles and responsibilities; and system design and hydraulics.

S-215 Fire Ops in the Wildland Fire Urban Interface hosted February 27-March 2 by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

For 17 participants, this course provided knowledge and skills to operate safely and effectively in a wildland urban interface incident by using situation awareness, performing structure triage, using pre-planning tools, having a basic understanding of fire behavior, and using strategy and tactics unique to the wildland urban interface environment.


Presented by the Climate Science Alliance and its Tribal Working Group, the Stewardship Pathways program invites people from across Southern California who are interested in creating or expanding a career focused on advancing Indigenous climate stewardship. Learn more at:


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