California firefighter trainees sharpen their skills

Posted at 11:55 AM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 14:55:48-04

(KERO) — California is gearing up for another intense wildfire season and the U.S. Forest Service firefighters are training nearly 30 new recruits.

They're learning the ropes in a week-long program in the El Dorado National Forest.

Trainees line up in a single-file line, hand tools fly back and forth into the ground and a path cleared with chainsaws is filled in by boots on the fire line. This work prepares for fire environments that are increasingly active.

The El Dorado National Forest team hopes this training may inspire another round of skilled firefighters.

"There's gonna be hard days, but at the end of it, when you've saved homes and you've contained the fire from spreading further into more communities," said firefighter Julianne Thomson. "I'm part of that bigger picture."

Anyone older than 18 with a driver's license can become a trainee. They can end up working anywhere. Some of the El Dorado National Forest firefighters are currently helping out with fires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.