Ahead of the blaze: Decatur, Boyd practice fighting grass fires

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, March 28, 2018
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Decatur and Boyd firefighters teamed up Saturday to learn how to combat grass fires.

The departments conducted a series of control burns on a property on Farm Road 730 south of Decatur to train their new recruits under National Wildfire Coordinating Group curriculum.

“We try to create a controlled, simulated emergency so they can put skills they learned in the classroom to use in the field,” Decatur Captain Nate Mara said. “You can only learn so much before you have to do it hands-on.”

Mara said they had rare, perfect weather to set the fires between dry days and the rain of this week. The recruits learned how to create a safety zone, communicate and establish escape routes while watching how the wind and terrain affected the grass fires. They worked on getting in front of the fires and establishing a line to cut them off and learned how to put them out with and without water.

“There’s a lot of technique and science that goes into firefighting,” Mara said. “With grass fires such a regular occurrence in our county, we want to be ahead of the curve. Learning to put out grass fires is just as important as learning to put out structure fires or working wrecks.”

Grass Burn

GRASS BURN – The Decatur and Boyd fire departments practiced fighting grass fires south of Decatur Saturday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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