May 29, 2010:
I have just come home from the first day of a Wildland Interface Fire Course. The local Warden secured 5 seats in the session for Baldy residents, in a course set up for the Bridesville Community Fire Brigade.
The course covers all the material for an S100 Basic Firefighting and Safety Course required for Forest Service Employees. Much more in depth than any of us would need as first on the scene of a fire, but it sure opens one's eyes to how complex wildland firefighting is. Not as simple as making a phone call and watching the water bombers.
It was a real eye opener to learn of real mistakes made at real fires, and hazards encountered in fighting the fires.
One thing I took away from today is how important it is for a homeowner to do all they can for preparedness. In the real world, interface fire crews have to triage the homes they are trying to save. If you have done nothing toward reducing hazards on your property, crews could bypass yours and go to one that is more saveable.
Also a wake up call to realise the modified response of forestry personnel on private property, and a move in recent times to recoup fire fighting costs from property owners.
I don't have a hope of passing a Forestry medical, but I know a lot more than I did this morning. I know more about forestry terminology and how to communicate more detail when calling in a fire, and I could take charge if need be until crews arrive.
I urge my fellow property owners to participate when the safety committee gets a fire course arranged for the village, and take a serious look at your own property.
Back to school tomorrow.