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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 341

Training for wildfire

 California's unprecedented early fire season siege is winding down, but the fire season is still  young, and training for fire personnel is  critical.

The BLM's Ted Overton Training Center in Susanville is playing an important role in fire readiness, as nearly 300students have completed classes certifying them for fire duty.  The students are private business owners and operators of heavy equipment and vehicles such as water trucks, bulldozers and pickup trucks who want to work infire suppression efforts.  The eight-hour contractors' refresher course covers topics ranging from fire behavior to conduct in fire camp.

Deploying a fire shelter is an important hands-on exercise for each class.

BLM Fire Engine Captain Abel Mata shows a group the proper way to unfold a fire shelter...
Above and below: BLM Fire Engine Capt. Abel Mata demonstrates the proper way to unfold a fire shelter, step into it, and deploy it on the ground.
Group watches a demonstration of how to unfold a fire shelter - step into it - and deploy it on the ground.

Students in each class then had the chance to try it for themselves.  They had to demonstrate proficiency at shelter deployment in order to receive fire certification.

Students try it themselves...

Jim Brown, retired fire management officer for the BLM's northern California region, has been instructing the classes.

- J. Fontana, 7/08

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 341

Last updated: 07-23-2008