Anyone swinging through northern Novato on Friday might see smoke from a grass fire. No worries — that will just be Marin County firefighters sharpening their skills for the hot, dry months ahead.
Battalion Chief Mike Giannini of the Marin County Fire Department said seasonal firefighters get trained at this time each year to practice all aspects of wildland and structural firefighting. Twenty instructors will supervise 60 seasonal firefighters in drills at the Corda Ranch, just north of the on the east side of Highway 101.
Giannini said drills will not only cover fire suppression but emergency medical skills and teamwork safety practices. Most of the firefighters are people interested in making firefighting a career, he said.
The week of practice culminates with a controlled burn from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the . The flash point of the fire will be a hilly spot about a half mile from 101. Giannini said residents and drivers along Highway 101 can expect to see smoke from that area.
Sometimes Marin County Fire approaches land owners about using land for such drills and sometimes the land owners offer up the land, Giannini said. "It works both ways, and it's a win-win for both parties," he said.
This is the same rehearsal that has taken place in years past on the St. Vincent property in Marinwood, he said.