Location: south of avenue 416 and east of road 168

Incident Date: 05-16-2014

Posted by: Media Relations

On 5/16/2014 at 2:53 PM the Tulare County Sheriff's Department patrol aircraft spotted a small brush fire on the north base of Stokes Mountain in northern Tulare County. The aircraft, known as "Sheriff One", was on routine patrol when the tactical flight officer (TFO) noticed the smoke and requested the pilot circle back. Upon confirming the fire location south of avenue 416 and east of road 168, the TFO contacted Tulare County Fire on their frequency, and requested fire suppression equipment.

While orbiting the fire, the Sheriff One crew noticed the fire started at the edge of what appeared to be an area being prepared for the planting of marijuana. The TFO then requested deputies respond to assist the firefighters. Sheriff One remained overhead to direct the arriving fire trucks into the fire scene. The crew requested the second arriving engine drive to the top of the hill the fire was climbing, as there was a large residence under construction at that location.

The second engine, Engine 8 arrived and was able to extinguish the fire just as it reached the structure, with minimal damage to the rear stairs.

Due to the wild-land potential of the fire, California Division of Forestry personnel and air tanker responded as well.

A major source of funding for the Sheriff One aircraft was State Homeland Security Grant Program monies. Sheriff One is equipped with cameras, sensors and communication equipment to assist all public safety agencies in the area, including keeping an eye out for fires in the extreme fire season.


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