BLM donates water tender to Cedarville Volunteer Fire Department

Cedarville Fire Chief Jim Hill, left and John Toomey, fire management officer for the BLM’s Applegate Field Office, complete paperwork transferring ownership of a wildland firefighting water tender from the BLM to the Cedarville department.

The Bureau of Land Management has donated a firefighting water tender to the Cedarville Volunteer Fire Department, increasing the capability of the department that often assists the BLM with wildfires near northeast California communities, according to a statement fromBLM.

The 1997 diesel powered tender has a 3,000-gallon water tank and is designed to draft water from a source such as a pond, stream or hydrant and haul it to fire engines working on the fireline. This vehicle is ruggedly built and can handle travel to and from wildland fire incidents.

“We are happy to donate this engine to the Cedarville Fire Department,” said John Toomey, fire management officer for the BLM Applegate Field Office. “This unit has served the BLM well, and still has plenty of service life left.”

Cedarville Fire Chief Jim Hill said the unit will replace an older water tender. It will support the department’s wildland fire engine and two engines designed for fighting structure fires.

The water tender was provided to the volunteer department under the BLM’s Rural Fire Readiness Program, which provides equipment to qualifying fire departments that cooperate with the BLM and assist fighting fires on public lands. In the program, local departments apply to receive BLM fire fighting equipment declared surplus when the BLM purchases new equipment.

The water tender went into service in 1997 with the Bakersfield Field Office, where it was steadily utilized until it was replaced about two years ago. Before transferring the truck to the local department, the BLM arranged for inspections and repairs so that it arrived in Cedarville ready for service.

The donation was the fourth in recent years in northeastern California. In addition to the water tender donation to Cedarville, the BLM has donated wildland fire engines to the Standish-Litchfield, Milford and Fort Bidwell volunteer fire departments.

Cedarville Fire Chief Jim Hill, left and John Toomey, fire management officer for the BLM’s Applegate Field Office, complete paperwork transferring ownership of a wildland firefighting water tender from the BLM to the Cedarville department.