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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:

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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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Basic Firefighter Classes: Cahuilla

January 30 - February 3, 2023

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This week-long training covers 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). Exercises support participants with no experience in wildland fire and who hope to qualify as firefighters and incident and support personnel. This training will highlight cultural and traditional Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in support of land stewardship through the use of fire.

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S-211 Portable Pumps and Water Use: Pala

February 13 - 15, 2023

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This course is designed to provide knowledge and skills to design, setup, operate, troubleshoot, and shut down portable water delivery systems. Topics covered include: portable water delivery systems; equipment; roles and responsibilities; and system design and hydraulics. There is also a field exercise where students will apply what they learned in the classroom. This training will highlight cultural and traditional Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in support of land stewardship through the use of fire.

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S-215 Fire Ops in the Wildland Fire Urban Interface: Viejas

February 27 - March 2, 2023

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This course is designed to provide 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. This training will highlight cultural and traditional Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in support of land stewardship through the use of fire.

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S-230/231 Crew and Engine Boss: Viejas

March 13-17, 2023

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This training covers NWCG course S-230 (Crew Boss; Single Resource) and S-231 (Engine Boss; Single Resource). The S-230 course is designed to produce student proficiency in the performance of duties associated with the single resource boss position from initial dispatch through demobilization to the home unit. The S-231 course objective is to perform the tasks of an Engine Boss in making the tactical decisions required to safely manage an engine on an incident. This training will highlight cultural and traditional Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in support of land stewardship through the use of fire.

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S-200 Initial Attack Incident Commander: Barona

March 27-30, 2023

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This course is designed to meet the training needs of the incident commander type 4. Instructional units include Foundation Skills; Intelligence Gathering and Documentation; Size Up the Incident; Develop a Plan of Action; Post-fire Activities; Evaluating Incident Objectives and Manage the Incident. This training will highlight cultural and traditional Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in support of land stewardship through the use of fire.

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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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