New Firefighters Get First-Hand Experience on First Day

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RANCHO CORDOVA-

Every year, veterans and new recruits with Metro Fire train for wildfires in a controlled environment, but they were on the front lines in a real life situation Wednesday.

Crews thought a fire, that started at midnight in Riverbend Park in Rancho Cordova had been contained, but by 10 o’clock this morning the fire had spread.

Nineteen acres total burned.

“The chief that was on duty reassigned those resources so instead of going to where they were going to train he had them come here. This is before the fire got life again and blew up,” said Michelle Eidman, Metro Fire’s spokesperson.

Before crews could jump into the action they had to hear up in special wildfire attire.

“What we are looking for in this outfit is going to protect you from embers touching it. It is going to protect you from burning. It has some heat resistance,” said Eidman.

The gear is also lighter in weight so you can move easier through the rough terrain.

Metro Fire doesn’t know what sparked a fire in Riverbend Park, but extremely dry conditions and wind did not help.

After the fire burned 11 acres crews thought the fire was contained, but flare ups created a new fire and an additional eight acres to burn.

“We started patrolling the fire line and  we had a section of fire where the wind blew on the fires and blew embers across the line,” said Capt. Grant Russell, Metro Fire Department.

With the fire contained, crews then searched for hot spots.

“You see smoke rising or you see the white ash that could be considered a hot spot,” said Russell.

With fire season declared much earlier this year due to extremely dry weather firefighter are warning the public to be extra cautious.

“Mowing dry grass around your house to make it fire safe, or smoking or barbecue anything that has potential to generate hear that can start a fire.”

Crews say they will be here throughout the night and well into tomorrow putting out hot spots.

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