(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.