Back to all stories


Photography & words by Clay Rasmussen 

Nestled between the Sierra Nevada mountains and California’s capitol, Sacramento, lies a little town called Ione, California. With historic ties to California’s Gold Rush in the 1800’s, Ione has always represented a blue collar way of life. Today, the town of nearly 8,000 people, is known for a different California story – forestry and fire protection. Every year, The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, hosts over 2,000 personnel at their training grounds on the outskirts of Ione. CAL FIRE’s training courses prepare cadets to fight, prevent and protect against the expansive wild fires that happen in California annually.

Ruins of a home on Point Dume, months after The Woolsey Fire.

Cadets debrief after a fire behavior study inside modified shipping containers. Inside the containers, temperatures can reach up to 800 degrees fahrenheit. 

Three Cal Fire trainees extinguish an intentional brush fire during a fire simulation. 

Charred ravine after wildfires.