Various firefighting agencies set for training June 3, 4
Area firefighting agencies will be conducting several trainings today and tomorrow to prepare for the fire season — and not a minute too soon, judging by the number of vegetation fires that already have broken out in western Nevada County.
On Friday, Cal Fire Grass Valley Air Attack Base will be conducting training with air base firefighters and air crews. The Grass Valley Air Attack Base, located at the Nevada County Airport, is a vital air operations base for fire-fighting aircraft in the region, and home to an air attack command aircraft as well as two air tankers.
For those residing in the Nevada County area, particularly anyone near the airport, throughout the summer these aircraft are a very familiar sight. Air tankers have long been relied upon for getting a firefighting resource over the top of a developing wildfire quickly, especially into deeply forested areas and steep canyons where ground resources will have difficulty making quick access.
The Air attack aircraft acts as both a command and control aircraft, coordinating air tanker and helicopter resources for effective and safe operation over the fire scene, and also as an incident command aircraft. In the afternoon, Cal Fire will be using an air tanker as part of a live ramp drill to allow firefighters to practice on aircraft ground support operations such as refueling and reloading of the fire fighting payload — in this case, water. The air tanker will take off from the airbase and proceed to the training jettison area above Purdon Crossing, where it will drop the water payload just as it would over a working fire.
On Saturday, there will be an interagency wildland fire drill off Brunswick Road near the Old Bohemia Mill Site and Highway 174.
The Nevada County Training Officers Association, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire and the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, will be hosting Wildland 2016 starting at 7:30 a.m. on the old Bohemia Mill Site at Brunswick Road and East Bennett Street in Grass Valley.
According to Incident Commander Jim Bierwagen, Wildland 2016 is a drill to provide training for firefighters in the areas of handline construction, firefighter survival, hose lays and wildland urban interface with structure defense. Crews will rotate through each station or branch and receive training from seasoned firefighters. No live fire will be used during this drill.
Objectives of the drill include firefighter and public safety, training through exercise, instruction and simulation. This training will provide firefighters the opportunity to work together under controlled conditions.
Firefighters from Nevada, Yuba, Yolo, Sutter, Sacramento City, Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service are scheduled to participate in this training.
The Nevada County Office of Emergency Services is funding a major portion of this drill.
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