Training to fight wildfires

By: David L. Yost Email
By: David L. Yost Email

RIFLE, Colo. (KKCO) - The unseasonable warm weather has come with dry conditions, increasing the possibility of a forest fire.

“Around here, traditionally, our fire season is from June to September,” said John Norton-Jensen, an instructor and foreman for the Central Zone Interagency Fire.

Wildland firefighters in Colorado attend an annual refresher training course that follows a national standard. Hundreds of firefighters will be trained here, and will be able to fight wildfires all over the country.

“And while we're doing ours, these are taking place all over the country, so nationally everybody is on the same page; everybody has gone through this refresher,” said David Boyd, Public Affairs for the Bureau of land Management.

One part of the refresher requires students to practice getting into a fire shelter. The shelter folds into a small carrier attached to the firefighters pack. They’ve been in use for several decades. While they’re not fire proof, they are heat resistant, protecting firefighters from the intense heat of a forest fire.

“We're getting fires right now. So it's really important that our district folks, all our firefighters, all our cooperators, have this refresher so we're ready to engage in wild fires locally and as well as nationally," said Norton-Jensen.

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