Marin Co. firefighters launch large controlled burn to reduce wildfire threat

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, one of the largest wildfire prevention efforts this season is happening, dozens of acres are part of a controlled burn to create a huge firebreak near communities. It was also first-hand training for new firefighters who may be needed during the long, hot summer.

The mission was to ignite and burn almost every inch of this dry Novato hillside.

More than 100 firefighters from across Marin County we're taking part in a massive controlled burn Thursday, the largest of the season.

"We're going to burn as much as one hundred acres if the prescription keeps up," said Marin County Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Overshiner.

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The goal is to create a giant fire break in a region that hasn't seen a major fire in years, but the drought is upping the risk factors.

"Everything is drying out already, coming close to heading to critical levels here in the next month," he added.

This burn was also a real-time training class for 40 new seasonal firefighters like Jake Murphy who'll likely be needed this summer.

"California's such a beautiful place, to be a part of a group protecting structures and land, it's one of my motivations," Murphy said.

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Firefighter Christian Reyes was helping to train the new recruits, teaching them how to manage a giant swath of defensible space which could help stop wildfires this season.

"We're obviously helping our community by lowing the amount of fuels that we have," Reyes said.

The controlled burn will continue on Friday.

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