1924 – Instructions to State District Fire Rangers

State Fire Truck #1 with a labor crew somewhere on North Mountain about 1933.

A downloadable Document from the CDF Museum… written and distributed by State Forester, Merritt B. Pratt dated April 1924 describes his expectations for the duties of a State Forest Ranger. Topics range from dealing with the public (“District Rangers should always bear in mind that they are serving the public and that co-operation is the most essential factor of their work”) to directing fire suppression (“Promiscuous backfiring often undoes much hard work”) and dealing with finance paperwork (“a maximum limit of $1.25 is fixed for all single meals except dinner”). Also included are instructions for working alongside Forest Service personnel. At the time, a District Ranger might be the only State Forestry employee in an entire county (or District). They had to rely upon County cooperation and local volunteer State Fire Wardens for tools, equipment and manpower when fires occurred, so much of their efforts were geared towards prevention via the posting of signs and the education of the public. In 7 short pages, Forester Pratt outlines the beginnings of CDF Forestry culture and tradition in the early years of State Forestry.


  1. Robert Stoops on March 7, 2019 at 07:28

    Great article. Good history lesson. Loved reading this and other vintage documents. Thank you for post all these..

    • Elizabeth Groom on March 15, 2019 at 14:21

      Thanks for your kind comments. We hope to add more soon.