CAL FIRE crews prepare for wildfire season with hands on training

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hands on experience right on the front line of a wildfire, that's the goal of Wildland Spring Exercise by CAL FIRE.

This exercise is both a teaching tool and refresher course to the different tactics firefighters can use to put out a blaze.

"They are stimulating a fire burning, and they are using a fire engine to drive and pump water at the same time," said Captain Jared Krum. "And put the fire out progressively as they go."

Jared Krum is a CAL FIRE Captain. He says in addition to using water, firefighters are also using fire to fight fire in mobile attack.

Crews practiced setting back and spot fires to create fire lines. Those control fires work to help crews contain a larger wildfire with the help of certain weather conditions and firefighting tools.

"They are also learning how to use a drip torch and how to light fire the proper way," Krum said. "And how to use the wind in your advantage when it is in your advantage and how to use when it is not in your advantage."

Wednesday's training took place at China Creek Park just south of Centerville.

This Fresno County park has tall grass and wet and dry grass. The combination was created from the rain in May.

"What that gives us is secondary growth and so we have a lot of the under-bed, the bed of the grass is dead and dry," Krum said. "And then we have secondary growth which grows on top of that, so it doesn't burn as well."

Krum says that slows down a wildfire but as we move forward into summer vegetation will dry out, and that will allow wildfires to burn and move faster.
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