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Fire department recruits ready to fight wildland fires

Fire department recruits ready to fight wildland fires

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A group of 20 Colorado Springs Fire Department recruits finished a week-long wildland fire training, with a mock fire.

The training is part of the Basic Wildland Firefighting certification. The recruits spent a week in the classroom, then got hands-on experience. They practiced digging hand lines, using hand tools, deploying fire shelters and working as a team to build fire lines.

"What we're learning here today is just everything we can do help possible, structure protection, digging lines if we need to, mitigating fuels, anything to lessen the danger," recruit Brandon Taylor said.

The fire department organizes the exercise so it's close to a real fire.

"We've used the actual tools, all the personal protective equipment is what we'd use on a fire," Lt. Rick Schimdt, CSFD wildland specialist said. "What we can't simulate is the stress, the heat, the smoke, those are things they're going to have to get as line firefighters."

The 2014 class of recruits will graduate in five weeks.

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