Firefighters Are Training As Forest Fire Season Is About To Start

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

While they wait for the rain, more than 500 firefighters trained in Pike County this weekend.

Forestry officials say almost 1,500 forest fires happen each year in Kentucky.

Brandon Hayton, with Pikeville Fire Department says, “This time of year and the weather conditions we've been having, it's extremely, extremely prone.”

Brandon Hayton says he's seen his share of forest fires here in Eastern Kentucky. “Oh I don't know. I've lost count in ten years, I mean I don't know you usually average ten to twenty a year probably.”

More than 500 firefighters trained in Pike County in several areas. One of which, was setting a controlled burn, to learn how a fire behaves and how to react when fighting it.

Richard Cyrus, with State Fire and Rescue Training says, “What we want to teach them is after the anxiety, the training kicks in and so there getting repetition on how to move hoses and how to communicate.”

Forestry officials say ground crews put out most fires in Kentucky. Firefighters say they're called to help if the fire spreads near a home.

Randy Courtney, with Pike County Firefighter Association says, “So when you're up there you really got to be on your toes about forest fires because you could actually fall down some of those crevasse and be hurt pretty bad. So today what they're learning is the incident command. You want to be in touch with somebody that's in charge on the scene so they know where everybody is.”

Instructors say this training helps because whether they are fighting a fire in a house or in a forest, a fire still needs fuel, heat and oxygen to grow. Cyrus says, “So if you take one of the triangles away, the heat, the oxygen, the fuel, the fire goes out.”

They say putting the fire out and saving lives is the reason they train.

Firefighter instructors say it's important you know when and where you can hold your own burn.

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