The Many Roles of MRCA Call Firefighters

MRCA Fire Division was deployed for both the Stokes Fire in Calabasas and the Topanga Fire. Photo by Ed Edmiston

Ed Edmiston of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) reminds us of the capabilities and challenges as we face, yet again, the “worst fire season ever.” The Mountains Restoration Conservation Authority (MRCA) Fire Division has a two-front capability for initial attack, in this case, the Stokes Fire in Calabasas and a near simultaneous ignition in Topanga.

MRCA Fire has a highly specialized function designed around fuel modification and park structure protection at the urban interface, which can be rapidly integrated into LA County, LA City, Ventura County, and U.S. Forest Service operations. When called upon by CalFire or OES for out-of-area fires, MRCA fields a strike team comprised of five Type III brush engines, a total of six vehicles, 20 engine staffers and a supervisor.

On large campaign fires, instant mini-cities are created that have many of the problems of regular cities. MRCA Division rangers are qualified for fire camp security management as wells a being fire qualified. During fire season, most of the ranger vehicles carry so-called “slip-on units that effectively make them fire patrol engines. (


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