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Fire training held ahead of likely busy fire season

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Mar 24 2014 12:38:02 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 24 2014 12:38:08 AM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

Potential on-call firefighters benefited from some crucial training Sunday in Chico ahead of what's expected to be a very active fire season.

The US Forest Service training took place at the Chico Genetic Resource Conservation Center on Cramer Lane.

More than 150 people learned everything from cutting fire lines to cleaning up hot spots to chain saw work and more.

For Zachary Kalso this is the second year he has taken part in the one-day training.

"They try to cover all aspects that we could see out there," Kalso said. "They put on this training each year. Anybody who thinks they may want to get a job in the fire department - with fire - can come out here and give it a try."

And when the day is over the participants will be ready to help on fire lines.

Crews will be available and called on as supplemental firefighters when huge fires break out and resources are spread thin.

"It's an on-call crew so they'll have the opportunity when they get called to decide whether they want to go out or not," Kalso said.

They will help on fires across the western United States.

Adam Coronado with the US Forest Service showed trainees the ropes of cleaning up hot spots and preparing for emergency situations including deploying emergency shelters.

"It's as real as we can probably make it without doing anything live," said Coronado.

And with the way the fire season is shaping up the teams will very likely be called to lend a hand.

"It's pretty green right now but things are already starting to dry out. Even though we're expecting a little bit of weather next week, unless it rains for the next two months it's looking pretty bad," said Coronado.