Firefighters preparing for an early start to the fire season

Apr 17, 2014 8:36 PM

The weather is heating up, and so is the demand for fire training.
The U.S. Forest Service fire crew is in its second week of wildfire simulations.
The training is intense -- one minute you're simulating jumping off a plane -- the next, you're trying to manage multiple emergency situations at the scene of a wild fire.

With only a month left of spring, seasonal and full-time firefighters from around the state are gearing up for the upcoming fire season.

"He is doing the parachute landing fall; once you exit the airplane you have 60 seconds from aircraft to the ground, and he has to be ready to do that.."

Time is precious, and for fire crews, it's everything.

Inside the control room, dispatchers and firefighters respond to the "Lake Fire".

"The person in this room is gonna have to manage the incident and firefighters, and ensure that the fire is organized."

That "person" is the incident commander, who's getting all his information from the control room.

Anything can happen at the scene of this fire, and the incident commander has to be ready for whatever comes his way.

"There will be broken vehicles, there might be a medical emergency -- they have to deal with it."

Meanwhile, the fire continues to grow, and the incident commander has to juggle each situation with efficiency.

"...they're going to have to deal with the incident and deal with the fire as it starts to get more complicated."

According to the U.S. Forest Service, there's only 30% snow pack this year; that means dry trees and dry brush -- and an early fire season.


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