Before starting fire training this week, Tyler took a couple of interns and myself out to a road system in one of our forests that had many fallen trees from this winter’s ice storm. Andrew, Marshall and I tackled with chainsaws a large oak that took up a majority of the road for most of the morning. I’m still quite sore from a full day of wielding a saw, but I’m proud of our work! While we did that, the rest of the crew stayed behind to test out the rest of our fire hoses near the Starker office, and make sure they are all in well working condition. We want to do everything we can to be prepared for this fire season, and now all our hoses and equipment are ready!
On Tuesday, seven of us from Starker (interns included) started our fire training to become ODF Type II Firefighting certified. So far, we’ve learned about basic safety and equipment requirements, the 10 Standard Firefighting Orders and their importance, as well as the 18 “Watch-Outs” of wildland firefighting. We got to learn all about the fire triangle and its significance in wildland firefighting, as well as varying fuel loads and their effects on tactical choice and choosing safe zones.
We also became familiar with the different tools used, fire suppression techniques and tactics, and how to safely start fires with drip torches or “fusees” in the few situations that they are needed. The instructors have been incredibly informative and have made the program fun with hands-on practice outside of the classroom.
We’ll continue to train at the ODF Philomath office the rest of the week. I believe tomorrow will be all about pumps and hose layout, and I’m excited for what’s in store for Friday!
– Nic Hayes