Where to Watch FOX40 News During the World Cup

California Firefighters Practice with Life-Saving Fire Shelter

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


It looks like the foil covering on a baked potato, costs $350 dollars and is the final line of defense for firefighters battling unpredictable wildland blazes.

It’s called a fire shelter.

At the Cal Fire Academy in Ione, firefighters are given 30 seconds to deploy the shelter, face down in the dirt – 30 seconds to save their lives.

“When you pull a fire shelter, you’ve exhausted any other means of escape. It’s something no firefighter ever wants to do, ” said Cal Fire Division Chief Mike Ramirez.

hot shot fire shelterIn the past decade, technology has improved and the shelters, once thin, are now 13 layers thick, but still the only thing protecting firefighters from hellish, unthinkable conditions. “The reason it has to stay so tight is because we have up to 70 mile an hour winds that will try to blow him and blow his shelter off of him,” Ramirez said.

Inside the shelter, a firefighter hopes to have enough oxygen to breathe through a burn over and a tight enough seal to keep everything else out – all while remembering this sobering fact, “It’s better inside that shelter, than it is outside.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s