COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Springs Fire Department held a hands-on training day Friday for its wildland fire personnel.
Lieutenant Jason McFerran said about 30 new recruits from the academy were at the practice at Pinello Ranch by Highway 85.
“They get the ability to actually experience it without all the stressors of fire and smoke and people driving around crazily," McFerran said. "So it’s very valuable.”
Firefighters learned how to construct a hand line, progressive hose lays, off-road driving, structure protection and several more skills used in wildland firefighting.
Lieutenant Ken Anderson said these taxpayer-funded trainings are necessary as more people may be in need of help from fire departments.
“The more people move out into the interface areas, the more they’re at risk because we’re building homes in these narrow canyons that are going to funnel fire spread," Anderson said. "Those also funnel a lot of the wind.”
The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control reports three million Coloradans living in at-risk areas for wildfires.
McFerran says this type of training is invaluable for when firefighters may encounter wildfires without roads and fire hydrants nearby.
"Most people remember Waldo Canyon Fire," he said. "Our job is to make sure that we mitigate that event before it becomes something catastrophic and to that level."
The CSFD Wildfire Mitigation Unit offers residents help to reduce wildfire risk and increase the survivability of homes. You can find more information by visiting its website.