Local firefighters anticipating a busy wildfire season

LAS VEGAS - May marks the beginning of wildfire season in Nevada, and officials believe it will be a busy year for firefighters. 

Volunteer firefighters received training on Saturday to make sure they have the skills needed to battle any blaze that gets out of control. 

"I always wanted to do this, be a firefighter," said volunteer firefighter Joshua Rumsey.

Rumsey is one of about 190 Clark County volunteer firefighters. It's a tough job, but he says he’s glad to be on the team.

"There's definitely no pay on it. We get a lot of training out of it," Rumsey said.  

Saturday’s training is in preparation for wildland fire season that runs from May to October.

One technique the volunteers practiced was a maneuver called pump and roll which involves chasing the fire.

"Wildland firefighting, unlike structural firefighting, is a much more paced and long process," said Asst. Fire Chief Larry Haydu, Clark County Fire Department.  

The recent wet winter is expected to bring about a busy wildfire season.

Firefighters say the all the rain and snow resulted in the growth of a lot of brush which will die, dry out, and become fuel for fires.

"If you have allergies, which everybody knows this is a bad allergy year, it typically translates into a bad wildfire season," Haydu said. 

In 2013, the Carpenter One fire burned nearly 28,000 acres of the Spring Mountains and consumed six structures.

The large wildfire also threatened many homes. Haydu says it’s important for homeowners to prepare for wildfire season as well as firefighters.

"Prepare, anticipate and evacuate," Haydu said. 

Firefighters say you can never be too careful when it comes to fire.

"You don't want the big fire, but they do happen, and they will come," Rumsey said. "So be prepared."

While many of the seasonal fire restrictions haven’t gone into effect yet, firefighters ask people to be vigilant all year around.

Preventing fires can be as simple as properly disposing of cigarettes and completely extinguishing campfires.


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