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STEWARDSHIP PATHWAYS

Indigenous Fire Stewardship

About

Fire is an inherent and necessary feature of our landscape. Through technical training combined with regional climate science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, participants learn valuable skills that can help build a career path around wildland fire management, Tribal fire stewardship, and fuels reduction. 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 Wildland Fire and Fuels Training program is unique in that it brings technical training together with climate science and traditional knowledges. The program would not be possible without the Southern California Interagency Wildland Fire and Fuels Cadre, a group of agency partners who contribute their time and expertise to plan and implement the training. A special thank you to Joelene Tamm and Chief Wesley Ruise Jr. for their leadership, vision, and perseverance to bring the idea to life, and to the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians for hosting the crew. 


By investing in this capacity-building opportunity, we are:
  • Working with partners to establish support systems for an Indigenous crew trained in fire, forestry, and fuels management that will advance resilient and adaptive pathways for conserving the land in the face of climate change.

  • Creating pathways towards equitable and sustained professional opportunities, all tied under the umbrella of climate-informed conservation, stewardship, and restoration.

  • Building towards a stand-alone year-round Indigenous-led forestry and fuels hand crew to work on the ground to reduce the potential for high severity wildfire by creating defensible space and fuels abatement—serving as a model for economic and workforce development.

  • Providing a crew that would be available for hire for forestry and fuels abatement, restorations, and land stewardship activities throughout the region.


Many of Southern California’s Indigenous communities are actively exploring pathways for bringing cultural burning back to the land, supporting and leading prescribed fire management, and advancing a model for co-management of ancestral homelands that are managed by non-tribal entities. Even though culturing burning has been practiced for thousands of years, past and current regulations and requirements imposed on federal trust-lands are significant barriers. The intention of this project is to initiate a process for advancing opportunities for capacity building training so that Tribes can lead and advance fire stewardship and restoration actions in collaboration and cooperation with state and local jurisdictional partners.


Photo credit: Joelene Tamm


Events

Explore our upcoming and past events using the filters below:

Pathway Key:

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(Plant)
Native Plant Conservation, Propagation, & Restoration

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(Fire)
Indigenous Fire Stewardship

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(Water)
Water Wisdom

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(Adaptation)
Climate Adaptation Technical Training & Tools

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S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws

February 12 - 16, 2024

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This is an instructor-led course intended to be presented at the local level. The course lessons provide introduction to the function, maintenance and use of internal combustion engine powered chainsaws, and their tactical wildland fire application. Field exercises support 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.

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Resource Advisor (READ N-9042)

February 20 - 22, 2024

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This three-day course will cover basic duties and responsibilities of the Resource Advisor during a Wildland Fire assignment, which will focus on highly sensitive areas of concern and address all-hazard situations.

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S-290 Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior

March 25 - March 29, 2024

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This is a classroom-based skills course designed to prepare the prospective fireline supervisor to undertake safe and effective fire management operations. It is the second course in a series that collectively serves to develop fire behavior prediction knowledge and skills. Fire environment differences are discussed as necessary; instructor should stress local conditions.

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Fires and Fuel Training

July 2024

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In collaboration with UC Riverside and San Diego State University researchers, this training will provide participants with an opportunity to explore considerations for climate, community vulnerability, and cultural resilience in fire planning.

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