Five Northern California firefighters from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) have been named Grand Marshals of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series championship weekend, Aug. 28-30.

Sonoma Raceway will recognize CAL FIRE for their efforts in battling the numerous fires throughout Northern California this summer, during a record-setting fire season. CAL FIRE reports that more than 10,000 firefighters are currently battling 16 active wildfires across California. Crews continue to make good progress on control lines of these fires and have succeeded at rapidly containing new fires. The men and women of CAL FIRE are dedicated to the fire protection and stewardship of over 31 million acres of California's privately-owned wildlands. In addition, the Department provides varied emergency services in 36 of the State's 58 counties via contracts with local governments.

The Department's firefighters, fire engines and aircraft respond to an average of more than 5,600 wildland fires each year. Those fires burn more than 172,000 acres annually.

"The recognition of California's hardworking firefighters at Sonoma Raceway is a tribute to the hard working men and women on the front lines of the wildfires raging across the Western United States," said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. "You can help us help you by preventing fires from starting in the first place. To learn how, visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org because 'One Less Spark' means one less wildfire."

On Sunday, the firefighters will utter the most famous words in racing, "Drivers, Start Your Engines," in front of a roaring crowd as well as a national television audience on NBC Sports. Sonoma Raceway will also run CAL FIRE's 'One Less Spark' public service announcements over the public address system throughout the weekend.

Tickets are still available for the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, including the popular Total Access Package, which includes a Sunday reserved ticket, pit and pre-race access and garage pass all for $99.  Kids 12-and-under are admitted FREE all weekend and parking is FREE. For more information, visit racesonoma.com/indycar or call 800-870-7223.