As Fire Season Heats up, Volunteer Crews Spend an Evening Training

Drip line fire training

A  firefighter used a dripline torch to start circle of flames as a training exercise yesterday. [Photo provided by Briceland Fire]

As the light faded yesterday, volunteer firefighters gathered around a circle of flames. They had already been training for hours. Briceland Fire hosted their annual refresher course and field day training. Communications Officer for the incident Camilo Stevenson explained that the volunteers do this for practical hands-on experience. The practice section, he said, allows the firefighters to “get their hands on a water nozzle and cut a fire line and use a fire shelter.”


Most of Briceland Fire was present, Stevenson said. Members of Telegraph Ridge Fire and a BLM representative also were at the training.

Firefighters got to practice skills they need during a fire.

Stevenson explained that there were several stations. In one, firefighters encircle an imaginary fire spraying water from their hose. Then when they run out of hose, they have to shut off the hose with a clamp, pull off the nozzle, and add another length of hose.

“Even though it sounds simple,” Stevenson said, “when you are in the middle of a fire, getting the hose connected can be pretty stressful.”


Another station involved practicing what to do if a fire overran the crew. At a real fire, firefighters would use an aluminum cloth but during this practice, they used ones made of plastic. “We have to throw our gear and take a shelter and stay inside of it for a couple minutes,” Stevenson explained. “In the real world, you might have to stay in there for a long time.”

Cutting a fire line training

Cutting a fire line. [Photo provided by Briceland Fire]

Another station involved learning how to cut fireline with shovels, Polaskis, and McClouds. The volunteer firefighters learned how to take vegetation down to the soil in a four-foot wide section.


A drip torch was used to burn out a section.  Firefighters not only learned how to operate a drip torch but they got live fire practice. “It’s a good thing to have an actual fire on the ground to see how it reacts,” Stevenson said. “For people who are inexperienced with actual fire, having the actual flames there in front of you, you get a sense of what really happens.”

Thank you, folks, for spending your evening training to help the community.



One comment

  • Yes much thanks to all the dedicated men and women who give so much of their time and energy to training, fighting fires and coming to the aide to those in life threatening emergencies!

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