As wildfire season approaches, military veterans undergo training to fight blazes

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Fifty local veterans participated in an intensive four-day training course to prepare for wildfire season. (KABC)

Fifty local military veterans underwent an intensive four-day training course with the Bureau of Land Management and the National Parks Service to prepare for this year's wildfire season.

BLM veteran program manager Chuck Russell shared that the leadership qualities and imitative held by many of the trainees were exactly what they were looking for.

"Sleeping in the dirt, sleeping with very few hours and then getting up the next day and starting all over again, they're used to many of those things," Russell said.

Along with heavy lifting, the veterans learned to handle fire hoses and pumps, dig critical lines and take out spot fires.

"By our nature, we're service oriented people," veteran John Carter said.

The trainees are also part of Team Rubicon, an organization focused on uniting military veterans with first responders for disaster relief.

"Now that we're out, we're all veterans (and) we're still scratching for something to do," participant Caitlyn Lyons said.

The new batch of veterans came as a welcomed addition as federal agencies find their resources stretched thin during peak fire season.

Related Topics:
newswildfirefirefightersnational park serviceveteransAgoura HillsLos Angeles County
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