Cal Fire crews train in anticipation of busy fire season

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Fire officials expect an active fire season because the rains from earlier this year have created tall vegetation - creating fuel for wildfires. (KFSN)

When firefighters arrive to wildfires, every second matters.

And dozens of CAL FIRE crews spent Monday battling controlled flames to make sure they don't waste any time when it comes to the real deal.

"If they get an opportunity to train now under a controlled environment, they'll be better prepared for when that fire is moving a bit quicker," Unit Chief Nancy Koerperich explained.

The training is happening around Eastman Lake with about 60 firefighters, as well as inmate crews, practicing with water tenders and toughed the terrain while battling the high temperatures.

"Even if it gets to 100 degrees, which is the anticipated temperature, relative humidities are higher," Koerperich said. "That makes the fire move slower and that means our firefighters can get in there safely."

But while the climate may be ideal for practice, it marks the start of what's to come.

"The grasses are drying out," Capt. John Slate said. "So, they have a better likelihood of catching fire and burning."

Fire officials expect a fire-active fire season because the rains from earlier this year have created tall vegetation - creating fuel for wildfires.

"What that will do is when a fire gets into what used to be a 12-inch patch of weeds now at 4-feet, will get into the brush and get into the trees," Koerperich said. "We call that ladder fuels."

Volunteers in prevention were also to get ready for the start of fire season. Crews will be back again on Wednesday to burn the remaining acres.

Related Topics:
newscal firewildfiremerced county
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