Wildfire season creeps closer in the Smokies, crews get ready
Wildfire season is just days away in Tennessee, and firefighters in Pigeon Forge have been gone over training exercises this week that’ll help keep you and your family safe.
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Wildfire season is just days away in Tennessee, and firefighters in Pigeon Forge have been gone over training exercises this week that’ll help keep you and your family safe.
Firefighters headed into the woods early Friday morning to simulate creating a fire break. This isn’t something they do every day, so crews wanted to refresh them incase they’re needed this fall fire season.
“The object is to cut a path in the woods down to mineral soil between 12 to 24 inches it will hold a fire that’s on the ground,” said Lt. Kevin Nunn with Pigeon Forge Fire Department as crews work to make a line. “This is what we’ll be called out for as an additional team to help to firefighters already on the ground to the Park Service or Forestry. So we may be assisting them or helping them in their construction of lines.”
It’s intense work for these firefighters who used hand tools to dig the fire lines around a burning fire.
“They’ll sleep well after 8 hours of this,” said Nunn.
Firefighters also went through how to use the all tools and equipment to get refamiliarized at five different stations.
They also practiced protecting themselves. How to use the fire blanket in the event a raging fire starts to come.
“This is something you need to do well. God forbid you ever need it, it needs to be muscle memory. There’s going to be way too much input and you’re not going to be able to get through it properly if you don’t practice it well,” said Lisa Hendy, Chief Ranger with Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Tennessee’s wildfire season does start on October 15th.
Pigeon forge fire department has gone over all these exercises with each shift this week.
They remind you to make sure your home is Fire Wise over the next few months. That means move all the fuels away from the outside.
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