Hundreds of firefighters train in Annual Wildland Fire Preparedness exercise

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It’s an annual event and it’s more important than ever following the 2018 fire season– the worst in California history.

Every morning over the course of three days at “this year’s” venue– the Viejas Reservation, fire departments from all over the region, including Imperial County train for the real thing.

It’s the Wildland Fire Preparedness Exercise. In it’s 17th year, it’s usually held in April or May– before the heat arrives and with it,  big-time fire danger.

Each day, each of the area’s fire departments sends a different crew or crews for a day-long simulated incident. Over the course of the three days, some 750 firefighters will participate in the coordinated attacks.

There are water drops and  unfamiliar and hilly terrain.  And, an incident “within the incident.”  An unexpected accident involving a firefighter or perhaps a resident trying to escape the flames, a sudden change in conditions.

Heartland Fire Captain Sonny Saghera live with us on Good Morning San Diego:  “We try to change it up from year to year. Keep the basic concepts the same, but some of the areas are different…. throw curve balls at ’em, make them think, this is going to happen in a real fire.”

After-action review of the training– next week.  Real thing?  Could be just around the corner.


Categories: Local San Diego News