A look at Wildland Firefighters and how to practice fire safety

Posted at 5:09 AM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-06 07:09:53-04

As we face another month of high fire danger in southern Colorado, our local wildland firefighters are ready to take action. 

Here at News 5 we caught up with some wildland firefighters for a behind the scenes look at what goes into their jobs.

Being a wildland firefighter is strenuous to say the least! We’re talking about running heavy hoses up and down steep or rugged trails, digging hand lines and clearing debris. These firefighters could be called out at any second,  putting their lives on the line.

They spend countless hours taking classes and training outdoors.We caught up with a team of wildland firefighters that work across southern Colorado to see exactly what it takes for the job. At a wildfire they are working days fighting off hunger, fatigue and dehydration. 

One of the most important characteristics for the job? Being able to depend on other agencies! Often their lives are in complete strangers hands. 

"When those fires happen multiple agencies respond," explained Jeffrey Neal with the Colorado Springs Catamount Wildland Fire Team. "As we have more experience with other agencies we learn interoperability with those agencies and that becomes a key component in having the ability to fight the larger fires."

They also have to be highly trained in engine operations, structure protection and aircraft operations. It’s their job to watch fuel, water and oil levels when they’re out at a fire. 

Remember no open fires or burning and no outdoor smoking! Our lack of rain means these dry conditions could last throughout the summer, so make sure if you’re out camping to follow all fire restrictions in place in your area.