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Wildfire Preparations Begin

By Yessenia Anderson

ASHLAND,Ore. — The official start of fire season is just days away. Oregon Department of Forestry said Wednesday will mark the start of an increased threat.

This month’s training, for Ashland Fire, has focused on structure protection and structure triage in case of a large event .

Monday afternoon, crews ran a ‘bump and run drill.’ This is when embers from a larger fire start coming into a neighborhood area that has a lot of landscaping and can create a threat for homes.

At that time, the engine company will deploy lines around a structure to protect it. Then, the challenge begins when crews receive a second call.

“So they have to very rapidly break down their lines, hang them up on the engine and move to the next structure. This is happening all the same time as the imaginary fire moves from place to place,” said Ashland Fire Batallion Chief, Kelly Burns.

Officials said the training also gives firefighters the opportunity to develop their communication skills. In a large event, crew members will be coordinating with multiple other agencies and personel from different command levels.

Officials said, along with the hands-on training they receive in working with tools such a high pressured hoses, that radio communication is also crucial in an emergency situation.

Officials expect this years fire season will have a slow start, but expect that it will peak in August and September and wrap up by mid October.