Arizona wildland firefighters begin training for wildfire season
LAKE PLEASANT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Wildland firefighters are preparing for what some experts believe will be a bad wildfire season after recent rains created an abundance of fuel. “It definitely turns out to be a long-tiring summer,” said Terry House, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management Captain. “This is the start of expected fire activity statewide.”
Firefighters from different departments and across the state are training for what’s ahead, including imagining a dire situation with crews entering a fire shelter, the last resort for safety on the front lines. They also game-planned around a sand table, a tool to strategize against the flames. In addition, the firefighters brushed up on their skills in pumping water from a body of water instead of a hydrant.
One crewmember told us the difference between fighting a structure fire compared to the wildlands. “It’s the unpredictability of the fire?” asked Arizona’s Family reporter David Caltabiano. “Absolutely, Arizona we have the winds, constantly change direction, the fuel this year is really heavy,” House replied.
On top of these real-life scenarios, firefighters said getting agencies on the same page will make the difference once they’re in the thick of it. “Successful firefighting is a team effort, that’s why we do this event, to have co-operators and ourselves work cohesively so when we get on to the fire line, we all work as a great team to accomplish that mission, “said wildland firefighter Matt Rust.
For tips on protecting your home during wildfire season, click or tap here.
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