Firefighters prepare as fire season approaches

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Spring is here and fire season is quickly approaching. Firefighters teamed up to make sure they're ready for the dangerous conditions expected this summer.

The terrain is tough and the brush is thick as firefighters work uphill in Northwest Fresno. This is not a real fire, but the first wildland training of the year for Fresno and Clovis area firefighters.

Kevin Reynolds said, "We get started because fire season gets started very early. So we try and get our mandates done, so that when fire season starts we can focus on fire season."

Fresno Fire Captain Kevin Reynolds helps train crews, so they're prepared for the conditions and challenges of wildland fires. Officials say this year, they've already had several fires to fight.

"With the drought we've experienced the last few years, its made it worse," said Cal Fire Fresno County Battalion Chief Dustin Hail. "This year we got a little bit of rain, so it produced a grass crop. In the last few years we have not had grass. Grass is a big proponent of what starts fires because it's so easily ignitable."

The Fresno-Clovis area has an automatic aid agreement, meaning the closet agency responds to a fire call and other departments help as needed. As the fire season heats up, these partnerships will be put to the test.

Reynolds explained, "So we like to train together so we're on the same page whenever we're doing the same firefighting so that we're all talking the same language and doing the same thing on scene."

While firefighters take the time to train, officials are also urging property owners to do their part by creating defensible space around their property.

Firefighters will undergo training during the next two months. All important lessons, they'll need to defend homes and lives this fire season.

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