CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- Fire season is alive and well in Southern Oregon. With that in mind, the Oregon Department of Forestry's Medford unit held a live fire training today to help their crews be prepared on moment’s notice.
“It's part of our fire school program. It's something that we try to do every year. The point is that it gives our new firefighters who haven't really experienced hands-on firefighting, a chance to get out and try all the tactics that they've been learning in the class,” said Natalie Weber, public information officer for ODF.
That was the focus of today's training. Weber says this type of training allows crews to closely mimic a grass fire response in a controlled environment that the fire training staff monitors. For some, this was their first exposure to fighting a wildland fire.
“It's a good opportunity for them to try it out and to get a good feel for it and have that experience where it's not a rush situation, it's not an emergency. And they can really just make sure that they're doing the things correctly, that they're asking the questions that they need to ask,” Weber said.
Twelve acres will be burned Thursday, with an additional 12 burned Friday in the same area. Only eight of the firefighters are in their first year. The training is being conducted north of Central Point along Truax and Newland roads.