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Wildland Fire Training in Ashland

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ASHLAND, Ore. – Fire crews trained in the hills above Ashland Friday, practicing how to protect homes in the event of a wildfire.

Firefighters from Ashland Fire and Rescue, Fire District 5, and the U.S. Forest Service teamed up for a simulated wildfire in the area near Strawberry Lane. Fire crews were told to respond to houses and practice protecting the structures from flames. Then as the simulation changed, crews were told to drop everything and move to other homes that were being threatened. Officials said it was good triage practice, and helps firefighters learn how to make quick decisions in the field.

“Provide some structural protection, but you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice,” said Margueritte Hickman of Ashland Fire. “You don’t connect to a hydrant, so you’re not committed to stay there and stay put.”

Crews said it was also important to do this training now, before drought conditions continue to dry out the region later this summer.

“Any given day we have a possibility of having a fire in any of these areas that surround in the Rogue Valley,” said Gary Smith with the U.S. Forest Service.