KKTV 11 News | Colorado Springs, Pueblo | News

Training For Wildfire Season

By: Lauri Martin
By: Lauri Martin

Firefighters forecast this year's wildfire season could mirror the summer of 2002 when tens of thousands of acres were burned in Colorado.

And because of that, wildland fire crews are trying to get one step ahead of the game. In day 9 of training, the 20 Pike Hotshots are training. "We have a lot of new people; it will definetely be challenging for the summer," Hotshot Adam Rodriguez said.

On the frontlines, one of their biggest challenges is just how fast a wildfire can spread. "If everything is aligned, and there is weather, it can go faster than a human can run."

A select few firefighters are getting trained on the helicopter. It's mostly used for water drops, but firefighters are learning how to rappel out of it so they can get into areas difficult to reach by foot. The helicopter has already been used. "Our helicopter usually starts May 17th, but we already had it ready to go for 2 weeks now because this situation is so dry," Jim Lawson, the Helitack supervisor said.

Firefighters also want to remind people to mitigate around their homes, getting rid of dead brush and thinning out trees.


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