Fighting a wildfire is very different than fighting a house fire. And fortunately for us, wild land fires are not as common as house fires. However, that means that our fire fighters have to train to fight wild land fires so they keep their skills sharp. Managing editor Tami Roleff attended an annual fire fighting training session for wildfires Thursday, and files this report…
“All units responding to the fire, staging area will be at Golden Bee and Acoma.”
It wasn’t a real fire, but an annual training exercise for fire fighters from the County stations in the Morongo Basin, as well as Cal Fire, Park Service and BLM, the Combat Center, Morongo Valley, and the inmate fire fighters from Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center. The 50-plus fire fighters worked together to fight an imaginary fire in the desert south of Golden Bee in Yucca Valley for three days last week. County Fire Captain Jon Garber explained one big difference between fighting structure fires and wild fires. “We want a lot of water for big structure fires, where this, this type of fire fighting is more [water] pressure…. We need pressure because we got to get this water up to an elevation…. So it’s not so much how much gallons. Gallons could be all the same to put out this type of fire. If you’ve got a whole structure that’s burning, you need a lot of water to cool that off.” Not only do fire fighters use hoses to fight fires, but bull dozers, and hand crews who use shovels, hoes, rakes and chain saws, to clear fire breaks, and air tankers who drop water and flame retardant from the sky. “It’s pretty impressive because you might have aircraft coming over that hill where you don’t even hear them, see them, and all of a sudden, they’re 10 feet off that hill diving in on you. Pretty impressive.” And it’s pretty impressive that all these fire agencies come together to train to protect residents from the very real dangers of wild fires.