Firefighters wrap up training with live fire practice

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Fri, May 23 2014 at 6:27 PM, Updated: Fri, May 23 2014 at 8:52 PM

Applegate Valley, Ore. --  First year firefighters wrapped up their week of training Friday with live wildfire practice.

Division Chief for the U.S. Forest Service, Gary Smith, said they did the training a month earlier this year just in case we see an early fire season.

"It's the basic firefighter training we put on around the country to teach firefighters how to do this job," Smith said.

The 21 new firefighters are with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. They burned two and a half acres in Applegate Valley to practice burn outs, digging lines, and squelching hot spots.

The hands on experience came after a week of classes where the fire students learned about putting out fires, fire weather, and team work.

Smith said with Southern Oregon's historically dry weather the firefighters could see a lot of action, and soon.

"It depends on the ignition sources. If we get a lightening storm that comes through here the potential for fires is high," he said.

The firefighters will now start their physical fitness programs.

Applegate Valley Fire District 9 and City of Medford Fire and Rescue also participated in the live fire exercise.

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About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

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